Drug Delivery: Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Reproducibility?

Drug Delivery: Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Reproducibility?

Author: Jonathan Faiz

The field of drug delivery is expanding rapidly. However, there is no connection between the number of published papers and actual therapeutic advances that have been made.

In an editorial, Jean-Christoph Leroux, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, explains how reporting highly complex drug-delivery systems rather than simple, robust, and safe formulations has become the norm in academia, even though it is doubtful that these systems are in fact suitable for pharmaceutical development. There are several issues with the development of nanocarriers that deliver anticancer drugs to tumors. As the carriers are much larger than their cargo, whether they actually reach their destination after oral administration remains to be seen.

Reproducibility is also a big issue: Drug delivery systems need to be robust and their properties need to be universally reproducible, and not dependent on subtle experimental conditions. Investigations that cannot reproduce published work should be taken seriously, and all drug-delivery systems should be subject to stringent comparisons and control experiments. Only then will these new findings benefit society.


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