Nanomagnets provide protection from lethal counterfeit drugs thanks to careful development, not just licensing- IEEE Spectrum

OCTOBER 12, 2011 POSTED BY: DEXTER JOHNSON A company that started off with the name SingularID over half-a-decade ago has long impressed me with its ability to take a nanomaterial—in this case nanomagnets—and develop a suite of tools around its physical phenomena to…

OCTOBER 12, 2011

POSTED BY: DEXTER JOHNSON

A company that started off with the name SingularID over half-a-decade ago has long impressed me with its ability to take a nanomaterial—in this case nanomagnets—and develop a suite of tools around its physical phenomena to sell a product that helps in brand protection.

Bilcare Research acquired the small start-up back in 2007 and it seems the anti-counterfeiting technology could have a real impact in combating drug counterfeits in India, according to this recent BBC story.

According to the BBC piece, counterfeit drugs account for a $200 billion business and the main target for these fake drugs continues to be poor and developing countries. What were talking about here is not just loss profits from the genuine drug producers, but sometimes lethal consequences for people who need a particular drug only to be using a fake one that lacks the active ingredient needed, or simply the drugs themselves are poisonous.

The article goes on to explain that a number of technologies are under consideration for combating the counterfeit drugs, including Bilcare’s. What I always found intriguing about the nanomagnet solution developed by SingularID and now marketed by Bilcare in comparison to other solutions is that even they can’t make a copy of it—the nanoparticles position themselves in random patterns.

But beyond that, what always attracted me to the story of this technology is that they didn’t just settle with a nanomaterial and a patent and expect the world to come knocking on their door with lucrative licensing agreements, but instead developed an entire product that they could sell to someone. Surprisingly rare in the brief time that there have been nanotech companies.