Skip to Content

Smarter Drugs

Polymerix promises a better way to get drugs to where they’re needed in the body.
March 1, 2004

If you could watch what happens to a typical drug in your body, you’d probably see its ingredients spread quickly, even to places where they are not needed. The drug doesn’t always arrive at the right place at the right time or stick around long enough to have its full benefit. So drug developers often combine medicines with other compounds to maximize benefits and minimize side effects. Indeed, researchers are always looking for ways to more precisely control the timing, targeting, and dosage of drugs.

A Rutgers University startup, Polymerix, has a novel approach that could boost the potency of some drugs and provide for their steadier release over time. Whereas other drug delivery methods employ polymers-long molecular chains with carbon backbones-that degrade slowly to help control drug release in the body, Polymerix forms similar chains out of the drug molecules themselves. The technology delivers drugs more efficiently and at higher concentrations than conventional polymer carriers, says Kathryn Uhrich, a Rutgers chemistry professor and Polymerix’s scientific founder. The company’s drug formulations can be used in injectable or implantable forms or even as pills. For now, however, Polymerix is developing anti-inflammatory drug coatings for medical devices.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

open sourcing language models concept
open sourcing language models concept

Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free

Facebook’s parent company is inviting researchers to pore over and pick apart the flaws in its version of GPT-3

transplant surgery
transplant surgery

The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus

The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.

Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research
Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research

Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging

The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.

Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI

One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.