Aptamers have been drawing the attention of several scientists in the last few years, not only because of their antibody replacement, but also because they have unique features, including low cost, thermal stability, and wide applications. Aptamers are oligonucleotides that bind to a particular target molecule. Aptamers exhibit high affinity and specificity to diverse target molecules, such as bacteria, proteins, or the whole cell. The growing interest of research scientists in aptamers is expected to encourage the growth of the overall market in the next few years. Moreover, the intensive research and development activities carried out by the key players for expansion of product portfolio and application will accelerate the growth of the market in the near future.
According to a research study released by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global market for aptamers is estimated to reach a value of US$4.33 bn by the end of 2019, rising from US$93 mn in 2012. The market is predicted to register an exponential 73.10% CAGR between 2013 and 2019. In this blog, TMR provides answers to several questions concerning the remarkable growth of the global aptamers market, along with key dynamics that are projected to stimulate the growth of the market in the near future.
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Oligonucleotide Aptamers being Explored as New Tools for Targeted Cancer Therapy
Since the discovery of aptamers in the early 1990s, significant efforts have been made to make them clinically relevant for diseases such as HIV, cancer, and macular degeneration. The first aptamer-based therapeutic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004 was for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Several other aptamers are presently being evaluated in clinical trials. In terms of applications, the global aptamer market is projected to be driven by the demand from diagnostics and therapeutics development segments.
SELEX technology is used to develop aptamers for cell surface biomarkers. The oligonucleotide aptamers developed with the help of Cell-SELEX technology have boosted personalized cancer research. Traditional cancer treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, photothermal therapy, and photodynamic therapy can cause adverse side effects in patients owing to their associated nonspecific toxicity. Antibody-mediated targeted cancer therapy is a better alternative as it is highly specific and has fewer side effects. However, the high cost of production and potential immunogenicity limits the clinical applications of antibody-mediated therapy. To overcome these hindrances, oligonucleotide aptamer-based targeted therapeutics have been explored. Research studies have revealed a number of advantages of the aptamer technology over antibody therapies for the treatment of cancer.
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Aptamer-Targeted Nanoparticle Delivery: A Novel Way for Drug Delivery
Nanoparticles, ranging in size from 5-200 nm, are being developed for various medical applications. Nanoparticles have interesting features such as a large surface for enhanced aptamer and drug loading, uniform size and shape for excellent biodistribution, and biocompatibility for clinical applications. Nanoparticles are effective vehicles to increase the half-life as well as the drug-payload capacity of aptamer-mediated drug delivery. Conjugation of aptamers with nanoparticles such as copolymers and liposomes offer an excellent opportunity for drug delivery owing to their enhanced biodegradability and biocompatibility. Nanoparticles also offer exceptional magnetic and photothermal performance.
It would thus be interesting to see how aptamer-targeted nanoparticle delivery would change the future outlook of cancer therapeutics.