How Drug Manufacturers are Using Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions to Fight the Obesity Epidemic

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Deb Shechter
Sep 1, 2015
min read
How Drug Manufacturers are Using Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions to Fight the Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is a severe health epidemic that affects millions of people around the world, and is particularly dangerous. It is potentially devastating and even possibly fatal for children and young adults. In light of this, pharmaceutical companies are working around-the-clock to fight the obesity epidemic – and one of the ways they are doing this is by creating new pharmaceutical nanoemulsions to improve the safety and efficacy of anti-obesity drugs.

What are Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions?

Pharmaceutical nanoemulsions are typically a homogenous mixture comprised of oils and/or fats, which are dispersed throughout the aqueous continuous phase together with an emulsifier that has been deemed to be “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The resulting oil-in-water (o/w) or water-in-oil (w/o) nanoemulsion is determined by the ratio of the liquids, the total liquid volume, the phase addition sequence, and the characteristics of the emulsifier used. Typically, pharmaceutical nanoemulsions are of the oil-in-water type; especially due to its masking effect, which makes ingesting the drugs more palatable and pleasant-tasting. Water-in-oil nanoemulsions are typically used to manufacture cosmetics (e.g. moisturizing creams).

How Drugs are Using Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions to Fight Obesity

Per a study published in Nanomedicine (2014;9(18):2761-2772), researchers sought to create stable, biocompatible pharmaceutical nanoemulsions in order to administer N-oleoylethanolamines (OEA), which is a lipid mediator with a fatty acid-based structure that functions as a satiety factor (and is thus an anti-obesity agent), yet is characterized by poor water solubility. This limitation is a major problem, and causes many promising anti-obesity drugs to be rejected because of the challenges associated with their administration.

After testing the anorectic effects in rats, the researchers were successful in developing develop stable, non-toxic, and biocompatible pharmaceutical nanoemulsions for administrating OEA – thus opening the door to a more effective and safer delivery of anti-obesity drugs.

Pion Technology and Creating Pharmaceutical Nanoemulsions

Pion's groundbreaking technology is used by drug manufacturers worldwide to create pharmaceutical nanoemulsions for a variety of applications, including the fight against obesity. Researchers and scientists who use our equipment:

  • Consistently achieve the desired particle size, with droplet sizes around or smaller than 100 nm
  • Develop stable pharmaceutical nanoemulsions, with particles at equilibrium
  • Create pharmaceuticals that have an extended product shelf life, increased efficacy, and controlled release
  • Leverage a mix of forces in a controlled manner, including cavitation, shear and impact
  • Accomplish their objectives using a cost effective and timely methodology

Learn more about our Pharmaceutical High Pressure Homogenizers here.

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