FDA looking for advice on regulating nanotech

Nanotechnology is an important driver of new drug-delivery technology, but much of the nanotech research you read about on FierceDrugDelivery is still very much in the lab, with less than a handful actually approved for use by the FDA. And while U.S. regulators have had nanotech on their radar for years, it has only now begun to think more seriously about how it is going to handle nanotech-enabled drugs as they come up for FDA approval.

WebMD Health News reports that the FDA has is warning that while it intends to regulate nanotech in food and drugs, it needs some help in understanding whether and why this new technology needs to be looked at any differently. Gang Bao, director of the Center for Pediatric Nanomedicine in Georgia, welcomes the new scrutiny.

"It is a great thing that FDA now pays attention to nanotechnology," Bao tells WebMD. "We can always publish scientific papers, but what we really want to do is have nanomedicine used in the clinic: for drug delivery, diagnosis, or treatment using nanomachines. Without FDA approval we cannot do that. So therefore this is a very important advance."

Jamey Marth, director of the Sanford Burnham Center for Nanomedicine at the University of California, Santa Barbara, compares today's nanotech research to Watson and Crick's groundbreaking work with DNA in the last century. "We are going to witness a huge increase in the understanding of disease and in the ability to treat, detect, and ultimately cure disease with nanomedicine," Marth tells WebMD.

- read the article in WebMD