Nanomedicines on the EU market

Nanomedicines have been on the market for more than 20 years. European authorities evaluate each drug before approving it and publishes information on their uses and characteristics.

The first nanomedicine was authorised by the European Commission in 1996. For every drug it evaluates, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) publishes a European public assessment report (EPAR) on its website explaining the use and characteristics of the drug.

Below are some examples of nanomedicines that are already on the market.

Medicine Active substance and platform/technology Use Advantages of nanoformulation
Abraxane Solvent-free colloidal suspension of albumin-bound paclitaxel (active substance) in spherical nanoparticle form Treatment of breast cancer, adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, non-small cell lung cancer Solubility problems of active principle solved (paclitaxel itself insoluble in water). Less frequent and severe toxicity (nausea, vomiting, fatigue, arthralgia, myalgia, alopecia) in comparison to previous formulations
Caelyx Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin Treatment of metastatic breast cancer, cancer of the ovary, Kaposi’s sarcoma (a cancer of the blood vessels), multiple myeloma Higher accumulation in tumour cells and increased circulation time – reduction of cardiotoxicity of doxorubicin
CosmoFer/INFeD/Ferrisat* Dextran-coated iron nanoparticles for parenteral administration (injection) Treatment of anaemia More stable iron-carbohydrate complex compared to non-nano formulations – reduced toxicity (reduced nephrotoxicity, intracellular iron accumulation).
Rapamune Sirolimus particles in a nanocrystal colloidal nanodispersion stabilised to reduce particle size Prophylaxis of organ rejection in renal transplant patients Improved stability and bioavailability


*EPAR not available as authorisation was not granted through the European procedure.

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