In an interview with CIO Applications, David Sutton, President and COO of NanoSphere Health Sciences speaks about his company’s research and development initiatives in the field of nanotechnology while addressing some of the key challenges and hurdles in the drug delivery and administration landscape.
What are some of the hurdles that the company aims to overcome in the medical sciences using nanotechnology?
One of the major challenges that nanotechnology is trying to overcome, revolves around the traditional modalities of drug administration. We are using nanotechnology to educate and enlighten consumers about the benefits of oral, nasal and transdermal modes of medication. Most people still don’t know what nanotechnology is and they imagine tiny robots in circulatory systems, but that’s certainly not the case. When we talk about nanotechnology, we talk about something that we call ‘NanoSpheres’, and to the majority of consumers that can be somewhat intimidating. All ‘nano’ means is very small, and that is why the technology is beneficial to us as a company. We are the first company to release studies in the United States using nanosciences that show the absorption of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in human blood through our cannabis products. In oral and nasal clinical applications, medical practitioners are looking for faster onsets with immediate effect and known dosaging. But that currently doesn’t exist in the marketplace, and we are the only ones that are bringing that clinically-proven rapid onset to them. We have developed a Transdermal cannabis product called NanoSerum™ to treat pain, inflammation, and anxiety by penetrating cannabinoids through five layers of skin into system circulation. It is unlike anything else on the market. When given to someone in pain,the drug provides relief within minutes.
How is your technology beneficial for drug administration?
Our technology benefits compounds that are lipophilic—things that donot dissolve in water— very well. This is a major concern with several plant-based products. If they do not dissolve within 20 minutes, they will not get absorbed into the circulatory system, but rather, get eliminated from the body. Similarly, THC is a big sticky molecule that has an affinity to bind itself together.
We are the first company to release studies in the United States using nanosciences that show the absorption of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in human blood
For recreational users, the benefit is quick and reliable onset. Within the recreational market in the U.S., there are a lot of edibles that are not reliable because of the delay in onset of actions. Someone could have a cookie, think it is not working, wait half an hour, and have some more. After a certain amount of time, they are hit with a very powerful psychotropic effect, which is dangerous for them as overdosing can have serious consequences. With our serum, the dosage is controlled in precise quantities and the effects are almost immediate. That is a key benefit our technology is bringing to the table.
Could you brief us about your Evolve Formulas product line?
Evolve Formulas is a brand that we recently launched, introducing our Evolve NanoSerum™, a Transdermal product which uses our nanoparticle delivery system for cannabis. Evolve Formulas is already commercially available in Colorado and will be launching the summer of 2018 in California, Arizona and Nevada. We will be expanding and licensing to manufacturers in each of the legal markets, owing to the federal legalities in the United States. We deliver the machine line and even trained production technicians to help these manufacturers develop and distribute Evolve-branded products into those legal markets.
Which are some of the industries NanoSphere is aiming to support in the near future?
Besides cannabis, the first application of our technology revolves around the pharmaceutical industry, specifically targeting medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen. The benefit here is that consumers can avoid negative side effects such as ulcers and bleeding in the stomach that these medications can cause because our technology allows the drug to be delivered straight into the bloodstream, avoiding the gut and stomach, for example. We can reduce the overall dosage to minimize the side effects that occur in the liver and kidneys too.
In the cosmeceutical industry, we are working on a product that can carry medications more efficiently through your skin. Effective anti-wrinkle creams, sunscreens, and animal health applications are some of the noteworthy benefits of this product line. For example, getting cats or dogs to swallow a medication is a nightmare. However, if pet owners just had a simple spray or a shot up their pet’s nose to administer the same medication, the problem could be solved. Such clinical applications allow us to showcase our potential in the nanotechnology space, especially around the medicinal use cases of cannabis.