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Nanomedicine can be defined as the application of nanotechnology to the prevention and treatment of disease in the human body. The report aimed to assess: the current status of nanomedicine; nanomedicine's market dynamics; the key applications of nanomedicine; the market potential of nanomedicine; and its Scottish context. The report aimed to investigate two distinct potential markets: short or near term goals, which would bring performance gains for existing therapeutics or pharmaceuticals; and long term goals, which would bring novel and innovative solutions to current unmet clinical requirements.


The methodology consisted of: an examination of market data; descriptions of nanomedicine technology; an analysis of patent applications; and an outline of Scottish involvement in nanomedicine.


The report finds that the main trading commodities at the present time are the nanomaterials themselves. Nanomedicine has the capacity to impact at all levels of the value chain. The short term market generated sales revenues of 750 million dollars in 2004, with an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of fifteen per cent over the next six years. Due to the lack of approved long term nanomedicine products at present, the long-term market is currently a virtual one. Nanomedicine is therefore a segmented, but emerging, market, which is less developed than the nanotechnology market. The US has a leading position with regards to both funding and patenting activity in nanomedicine. In the short term, high levels of government funding are likely to drive the potential nanomedicine market. Additional market opportunities include: initial interest from venture capital funding; first near-term nanomedicine products launched; and the promise of longer term innovative solutions to previously unmet medical needs. Challenges and barriers to the emergence of a nanomedicine market include: the expense of nanomaterial manufacturing; the lack of safety or toxicology information about new products; and the lack of standards and regulatory affairs to deal with the pipeline of novel products.


The report recommends that, to encourage and enable further development of nanomedicine products, the barriers outlined above need to be addressed, and once these have been overcome, the additional barrier of a lack of serious pharmaceutical industry backing and investment will also need to be addressed. The report also forecasts the areas in which nanomedicine may have major benefits, such as: diagnostic genetic testing; imaging; drug delivery and therapeutics; implants, scaffolds and tissue repair or regeneration; sensory aids; and surgical aids.

Author ITI Life Sciences
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Life Sciences