After more than 25 years of commercial use with almost 20 parenteral drug products, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are having a breakout moment. While LNPs are now a proven drug delivery technology to penetrate target cells and ensure release for reliable systematic or local delivery, their true market potential as a gene and cell therapy enabler has only become clear to many since COVID-19.
More than ten of the COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development around the world, including many clinical front-runners, are utilizing LNPs for mRNA, DNA or peptide delivery according to the latest WHO list. If favorable clinical data continues to be generated at the current rate, it is probable that hundreds of millions of vaccine doses made with LNP-technologies will be manufactured for human use over the coming year.
There are several reasons why LNPs are now increasingly recognized as a preferred formulation technology for specialized parenteral drug products, explains Jay Natarajan, who is Director of R&D at Evonik’s CDMO center for LNPs and other nanomedicines located in Vancouver, Canada.