By Victoria Morgan, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has seen a steady shift toward increased patient centricity. The impact can be seen in nearly every aspect of the industry – from regulatory guidance, trial design, and drug delivery to new drugs proliferating the pipeline, such as biologics. Biologics are helping to revolutionize the treatment of chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, by helping patients take less frequent injections.
Additionally, by targeting specific components of a disease in ways never thought possible before, these therapies may also help some acute conditions, including certain types of cancer, become manageable chronic conditions.
A real focus of biologics research and development lies in new molecular entities which can be administered into the sub-cutaneous tissue in the skin. Therapeutic areas such as growth hormones and diabetes have long shown efficacy through sub-cutaneous delivery and an established patient acceptance of self-injection and pain tolerance. These therapeutic areas are rapidly being joined by oncology, autoimmune and blood disorders which traditionally had IV and infusion are the main routes of administration, but which are now seeing novel drug launches with sub-cutaneous delivery routes.