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Posted: June 12, 2008
Medical nanotechnology offers rewards, but big risks - study
(Nanowerk News) Investors could make substantial returns over the next five to 10 years by investing in companies working in the field of medical nanotechnology, a report on the fledgling sector published Thursday said.
Credit Suisse analysts said in the report that the use of nanotechnology-enabled products in medicine is going to increase over the next 20 years and urged investors to forget the "sci-fi" of miniature robots and focus instead on near-term applications for creating better drugs, medical devices and diagnostics.
The bank warned, however, that there are big risks to companies working in the field, particularly surrounding intellectual property and the attitude of regulators, who tend to take a cautious line on testing new products for use in humans. It said a substantial proportion of firms working with nanotechnology will fail.
Credit Suisse said the best opportunities for healthcare investors are nanotechnology applications for drugs, especially for cancer and diseases of the central nervous system.
The report also flags up companies working to create tiny new implants that can deliver medicines inside the body, orthopedic applications and more accurate diagnostic tools.
Some drugs using nanoparticles are already on sale, like Elan Corp. (ELN.DB) and Wyeth's (WYE) cholesterol pill TriCor.
Companies experimenting with nanotechnology in new drugs include Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and Flamel Technologies SA (FLML), while Sandvik AB (SAND.SK) and Orthovita Inc. (VITA) are among those operating in the medical technology field, Credit Suisse said.