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Central Nervous System Drug Delivery Specialists

Profiles, strategic alliances, and intellectual property

CNS drugs are associated with longer development times and higher attrition rates than drugs for other therapy areas. Advances in delivery technologies are essential if the pursuit of novel CNS treatments is to remain commercially viable.


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is so effective at limiting the passage of exogenous substances that many drugs with the potential to treat CNS diseases are rendered ineffective by their inability to reach their target. Consequently, companies that develop innovative delivery technologies are in a position to play a vital role in CNS drug development.

Features and benefits

  • Identify the leading companies with innovative technologies designed to enhance CNS drug delivery.
  • Compare the technologies that each company has developed and the diseases to which they are being applied.
  • Evaluate each company’s pipeline of products and the intellectual property on which these are based.
  • Assess the alliances that have been formed to maximize the opportunities for commercial exploitation of the innovations.

Key questions

  • Which companies are at the cutting-edge of CNS drug delivery technology?
  • How extensive are the patent portfolios supporting the company’s innovations?
  • What alliances have been formed to accelerate the commercial exploitation of the delivery technologies?
  • What are the prospects of success for each company’s technological innovations?

Key findings

Many drug delivery specialists have developed novel technology platforms to improve the passive or active transport of therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier through the encapsulation of drugs within liposomes (ArmaGen Technologies, Corden Pharma Switzerland), bolaamphiphilic vesicles (Lauren Sciences), and nanoparticles (to-BBB Technologies).

There has been success in circumventing the BBB by developing biodegradable implants (Durect Corporation) and programmable infusion devices (DePuy, Flowonix, Medtronic) for the localized delivery of drugs. 

Intranasal delivery, which allows direct nose-to-brain access through the olfactory region, holds much promise. Medical device companies Kurve Technology, Impel NeuroPharma, and OptiNose have all developed devices that are compatible with intranasal delivery, and several products are now under evaluation.

Coverage: global

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