Liposomal drug delivery systems: From concept to clinical applications
The first closed bilayer phospholipid systems, called liposomes, were described in 1965 and soon were proposed as drug delivery systems. The pioneering work of countless liposome researchers over almost 5 decades led to the development of important technical advances such as remote drug loading, extrusion for homogeneous size, long-circulating (PEGylated) liposomes, triggered release liposomes, liposomes containing nucleic acid polymers, ligand-targeted liposomes and liposomes containing combinations of drugs. These advances have led to numerous clinical trials in such diverse areas as the delivery of anti-cancer, anti-fungal and antibiotic drugs, the delivery of gene medicines, and the delivery of anesthetics and anti-inflammatory drugs. A number of liposomes (lipidic nanoparticles) are on the market, and many more are in the pipeline. Lipidic nanoparticles are the first nanomedicine delivery system to make the transition from concept to clinical application, and they are now an established technology platform with considerable clinical acceptance. We can look forward to many more clinical products in the future.