Research NewsBiomedicine

Drug Delivery Takes a Deep Breath

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Science  29 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5330, pp. 1199-1200
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5330.1199

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While biotechnology is proving highly successful at getting new drugs onto the market, getting them into patients is another matter. A large number of the new compounds are peptides and proteins, which are easily broken down by enzymes in the stomach and so cannot be taken as pills. Drug companies around the world are now exploring the possibility of having patients inhale their medicine. Their hope is that tiny drug particles inhaled deeply into the lung will cross through the thin tissue lining into the bloodstream.