Nanoxel : A New Era in Cancer Chemotherapy?

Dabur Pharma has launched a novel nano technology based paclitaxel delivery system called NANOXEL this January. It is being billed as India’s first indigenously developed nanotechnology based chemotherapeutic agent. Nanoxel is the first nano particle drug delivery system to be developed outside the US, according to sources in the company. That means Indian drug manufacturers like Dabur has mastered the expertise and has got the in-house capability of developing critical anticancer drugs using sophisticated nanotechnology drug delivery system.

Paclitaxel, a widely used anticancer drug with substantial activity against advanced breast, ovary and non small cell lung cancer is currently formulated as a cremophor-oil based solution owing to the drug’s water insolubility. Cremophor in turn is responsible for life threatening side effects such as hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions. This, coupled with the threat of severe side effects caused by the random distribution of the drug means the maximum dosages is necessarily restricted.

Nanoxel offers a cremophor free water soluble formulation claimed to have essentially less side effects. Its polymeric nano particles ensure targeted delivery of drug to the tumor tissue, sparing the healthy organs. Which means the new formulation is expected to have much less side effects compared to the conventional paclitaxel.

“Nanoparticle drug delivery devices like Nanoxel enable therapy to take a preferential course to the cancerous cells and directly interact with the tumour causing agents thereby throwing open a larger window for anti-tumour activity,” said Dr Advani, Director of Medical Oncology at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre. “It also ensures that the patient receives the full measure of the therapy while limiting the adverse side effects and toxicity affected by the drug.”

The company recently received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market its generic paclitaxel drug in the US .The firm expects to start clinical trials for Nanoxel in the US and Europe ‘very soon'.

Jhilaam, Pharm House.


  1. Anonymous says
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    J says

    No matter how much benefit there seems to be with nano drug delivery, The FDA continues to hinder its progress and commercialization. I found this power point presentation on line that summarizes the incapacities of the USA's FDA. by Alan MInsk. interesting stuff

    jhilaam says

    thank you,j for your input n the link...

    do visit again...