Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.468, No.3, 428-434, 2015
Non-absorbable mesoporous silica for the development of protein sequestration therapies
While our understanding of the molecular events leading to disease onset and progression have increased exponentially, our capacity to therapeutically intervene in these events with new chemical diversity has clearly fallen short of that pace. In the quest to readdress this situation, the drug discovery sector is slowly but increasingly exploring sources of alternative chemical matter, such as the ones provided by material science and nanotechnology. While new functional nano-sized materials hold great promise for the future, our lack of understanding of the long term safety implications associated with systemic exposure as well as the unclear regulatory path ahead hamper their present impact in drug development. Paradoxically, the exploitation of novel, functionally active micron-sized, synthetic, non-absorbable chemical matter, for the treatment or prevention of a number of epidemiologically significant conditions remains clearly underexplored. A combination of pre-existing evidence and future potential indicates that micron-sized mesoporous silica materials could be an untapped source of new drug candidates. These are free from both the dreaded high attrition associated with small molecule drug discovery and the uncertainties of nano-size technologies. This, together with the coming of age of synthetic methodologies to control particle size and shape; pore size and geometry; surface chemistry, bioconjugation and formulation, open up exciting possibilities to exploit this novel chemistry-biology therapeutic interface. (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc.