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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2001 Nov;1(6):923-47.

Developments in liposomal drug delivery systems.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Liposomes are the leading drug delivery systems for the systemic (iv.) administration of drugs. There are now liposomal formulations of conventional drugs that have received clinical approval and many others in clinical trials that bring benefits of reduced toxicity and enhanced efficacy for the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The mechanisms giving rise to the therapeutic advantages of liposomes, such as the ability of long-circulating liposomes to preferentially accumulate at disease sites including tumours, sites of infection and sites of inflammation are increasingly well understood. Further, liposome-based formulations of genetic drugs such as antisense oligonucleotides and plasmids for gene therapy that have clear potential for systemic utility are increasingly available. This paper reviews the liposomal drug delivery field, summarises the success of liposomes for the delivery of small molecules and indicates how this success is being built on to design effective carriers for genetic drugs.

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