Dendrimers can protect drugs from degradation and clearance resulting in them lasting longer in the body. This may mean that an improved dosing regimen can be pursued, for example replacing a daily dose with a once weekly injection.
The half-life (t½) of a drug can be substantially enhanced by attaching it to a dendrimer construct. For example attaching the anticancer drug, methotrexate (MTX) to different members of a family of dendrimer constructs leads to a range of clearance rates in rats, ranging from 24 minutes (free MTX), to nearly 24 hours shown in this figure, and 50 hours in a related construct.
A comparable result was achieved with doxorubicin (DOX): a t½ of approximately 30 minutes for free DOX was extended to 34 hours for a DOX-dendrimer construct. The approach is applicable both to small molecules and biological therapeutics, for example it has been demonstrated for the biological agent, insulin.