Nanopharmaceuticals and nanomedicines currently on the market: Challenges and opportunities

Fatemeh Farjadian, Amir Ghasemi, Omid Gohari, Amir Roointan, Mahdi Karimi, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

399 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a revolution in nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Since 1980, there has been a remarkable increase in approved nano-based pharmaceutical products. These novel nano-based systems can either be therapeutic agents themselves, or else act as vehicles to carry different active pharmaceutical agents into specific parts of the body. Currently marketed nanostructures include nanocrystals, liposomes and lipid nanoparticles, PEGylated polymeric nanodrugs, other polymers, protein-based nanoparticles and metal-based nanoparticles. A range of issues must be addressed in the development of these nanostructures. Ethics, market size, possibility of market failure, costs and commercial development, are some topics which are on the table to be discussed. After passing all the ethical and biological assessments, and satisfying the investors as to future profitability, only a handful of these nanoformulations, successfully obtained marketing approval. We survey the range of nanomedicines that have received regulatory approval and are marketed. We discuss ethics, costs, commercial development and possible market failure. We estimate the global nanomedicine market size and future growth. Our goal is to summarize the different approved nanoformulations on the market, and briefly cover the challenges and future outlook.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-126
Number of pages34
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • drug delivery
  • market size
  • nanocrystal
  • nanodrug
  • nanoliposome
  • nanomedicine
  • nanopharmaceuticals
  • nanopolymer
  • nanotechnology
  • regulatory approval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Development


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