The Organizing Committee would like to welcome you to the International Symposium on Polymer Therapeutics to be held in Valencia. This series of meetings traditionally provides an excellent forum for the free discussion of the latest developments in the emerging field of Polymer Therapeutics.
In particular, the program has been arranged to emphasize the importance of collaboration between the basic disciplines of chemistry, biology, and pharmaceutical science with industrial development in order to transfer exciting novel concepts from the laboratory into routine clinical use.
The term “Polymer Therapeutics” is used to include inherently biologically active polymeric drugs and polymeric sequestrants, polymer-protein and polymer-drug conjugates, block copolymer micelles, and the supramolecular assemblies that form multi-component polyplexes designed to promote cytosolic delivery of genes, siRNAs, and proteins.
Polymer Therapeutics can be considered amongst the most successful first generation "Nanomedicines". A growing number of such products have been approved by regulatory authorities for routine clinical use and others are progressing through clinical trials as single agents or as components of combination therapy regimes. They are used as treatments for cancer, infectious diseases, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and age-related degeneration. Additionally, an increasing number of constructs are entering pre-clinical and early clinical development.
In 2007, Polymer Therapeutics had an estimated annual market value of > 5 billion US $. As we enter the 21st Century as clinical applications broaden to include treatments for infectious and inflammatory diseases, tissue repair and regeneration, and diseases of the ageing population an ever increasing amount of Polymer Therapeutics are being developed to address these diseases.
Both natural and synthetic polymers are being used, and sophisticated synthetic chemistry is leading to complex three-dimensional polymeric architectures, including dendrimers and dendronized polymers. This complexity at the molecular level and heterogeneity of conjugate structure presents many challenges in terms of validated chemical characterization.
There is also a need to ensure acceptable safety for all new polymers depending on their route, frequency, and dose of administration. These polymers are being developed as components of non-viral vectors for delivery of genes, siRNAs and proteins, and there is growing awareness of the need for detailed understanding of intracellular trafficking to facilitate design molecular target-specific polymer directed therapies.
Unlike other Drug Delivery Symposia that have a broader remit, this unique conference series was specifically established to provide a forum for interdisciplinary exchange of state-of-the-art techniques and advances in knowledge relating to the design, clinical development and commercialization of "Polymer Therapeutics". These hybrid systems are the first "Nanomedicines" in action.
María J. Vicent