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Improving Pipeline for Drug Development Companies by Deploying Nanotechnology at Preclinical Formulation Development
Dr. Kay Olmstead
Nano PharmaSolutions, Inc.
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – January 11, 2021
CEOCFO: Dr. Olmstead, what is the concept for Nano PharmaSolutions, Inc?
Dr. Olmstead: We provide drug development companies a cutting-
CEOCFO: Why is it so difficult for a drug to be soluble?
Dr. Olmstead: It is because recent advances in combinatorial chemistry, computational molecular modeling and high throughput screening in drug discovery have significantly increased the number of poorly soluble drugs. Often candidates identified from the R&D search are not soluble. They are usually selected via binding affinity to a target, but not solubility. Therefore, these candidates work on a cellular level, but not on a physiological level. This stage is what they call the “valley of death”—the drug development process from the laboratory bench to an approved drug—which has only about a 0.2% success rate.
CEOCFO: What do you understand about creating solubility that others do not?
Dr. Olmstead: Other nanotechnologies use chemicals and excipients, and we generate drug nanoparticles in a purely physical way, with nothing added on. If you make the drug soluble by using other chemicals, these chemicals cannot be taken out, so they become part of your drug, potentially affecting the safety and efficacy of the medication. We achieve increased bioavailability in poorly soluble drugs using our nanotechnology platform without the addition of undesirable chemicals and other potential adulterants.
CEOCFO: What are the challenges in getting the right people to know what you can do at Nano Pharma?
Dr. Olmstead: Nano PharmaSolutions, Inc. was founded less than two years ago. People challenge us by asking if we can maintain the integrity of the drug in our process. We use a micro-
CEOCFO: What can you tell us about how you do it and how the technology was developed?
Dr. Olmstead: About 10 years ago, NASA developed what is called Plasma-
CEOCFO: How are you getting the word out?
Dr. Olmstead: We’ve been having robust traffic to our website (www.nanopharmasolutions.com), and we use LinkedIn as a social marketing tool. It has been tough to get the word out in 2020 because of COVID. Normally, companies with new technologies like ours go to industry conferences and conventions to meet stakeholders in “one on one” meeting. However, because of the pandemic all conferences and meetings were either cancelled or went virtual, so we have not been getting our message out as much as we otherwise would. We will be more proactive in 2021 and publish our data in peer reviewed journals and/or white papers.
CEOCFO: Do potential customers understand? Are they skeptical? How can you show people that it really works?
Dr. Olmstead: It is all in the data. We are scientists and we are talking to our customers, who are scientists. If we show them the dissolution data of our nanoformulation of a drug vs its native state, the data will sell itself. We also perform pharmacokinetics studies, which show bioavailability differences between the nanodrug and its native forms in animal models. We can also compare in-
CEOCFO: Where does cost come into play? Although it should not for something that is really effective.
Dr. Olmstead: Right. Nanotechnology in general is very expensive, because other chemical nanotechnologies go through several iterations to reach the best formulation. However, since we do not use any chemicals our trials are very fast. We measure the triple point of a drug in our NanoTransformer™ in just one trial with our online video camera. If the triple point is seventy-
We came up with this offer to the drug industry: Give us just seven grams of drug and in seven weeks we can deliver the nanosized formulations for the fee of seventy thousand dollars. Compared to our competitors, the required quantity of drug, time and fee structure is about one third. Therefore, we make this service accessible to early-
CEOCFO: Are you seeking funding, partnerships or investment?
Dr. Olmstead: We are a hardtech pharmaceutical-
CEOCFO: What has been the interest from the investment community or do they not really know what you are doing yet?
Dr. Olmstead: We are in the early stages of raising capital and have not finalized our messaging. JP Morgan is in January and we will be participating. Likewise, we plan to present at the BIO conference for CEOs and investors in February.
We are hoping that will get our story out to the investment community. Therefore, 2021 will be a transformative year for us. We were mentioned in a Forbes article in December as one of the companies that pivoted due to COVID and were mentioned as a resilient company.
CEOCFO: What, if anything, might someone miss when they take a look at Nano Pharma Solutions, either from the investment perspective or from the scientific perspective?
Dr. Olmstead: Nano PharmaSolutons is a young company with a small team. An outsider might say that we do not yet have a critical mass, but all our team members believe in our technology and are highly dedicated. With the necessary funding, we will continue to build our team and intellectual property portfolio. Ultimately, we will be a leader in solubilizing nanotechnologies that enable our pharmaceutical customers to develop better drugs faster. This will in turn give patients access to a wider variety of efficacious, life-
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“Although there are many solubilization technologies, our nanoformulation platform is the only one that uniformly deposits solidified active pharmaceutical ingredients in a purely physical way without using any chemicals or solvent.” Dr. Kay Olmstead