PharmaShell logo, PharmaShell logotype

PharmaShell® is Nanexa’s revolutionary drug delivery system.


PharmaShell® is based on enclosure of drug particles in extremely thin shells. The thickness of the shell is in the range of 10 nm. PharmaShell® provides new possibilities for drug administration and dosage, as well as increased opportunity for targeting of parenteral drugs.


PharmaShell® provides:

  • Controlled and slow release, allowing for long depots
  • Targeting possibilities through controlled and long circulation time
  • High drug load
  • Extended life-time for sensitive drugs
  • New intellectual property protection for expired patents


PharmaShell® encloses solid drug particles in the size range of nano- to micrometer. The inclusion is made by a chemical manufacturing process called Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), where nanometer thick shells are formed directly on the drug particles.

The shell that encloses the drug is dense, stable, and designed to slowly but completely dissolve in the body. By adjusting the thickness of the shell, Nanexa can control the release profile of the drug in the body. A PharmaShell® depot may release a controlled amount of drug continuously for several months. Also, longer circulation time in the bloodstream is a desirable trait for intravenous administrations.

Drug load is a measure of the content of active component (API) in a drug dose. The drug load rarely falls below 70% for PharmaShell® due to the extremely thin nature of the shells.

The PharmaShell® surface is covered by active linking groups and facilitates binding of receptor-specific molecules to the particles. The receptor-specific molecules can target the modified drug particle to a certain tissue in the body.

Extended storage time of sensitive drugs is another positive feature of PharmaShell®. It has been shown that the shell completely prevent oxygen and moisture from penetrating through the shell.


Atomic Layer Deposition

It is possible to achieve extremely thin shells with high precision on many different drug particles with the ALD technology.

ALD is Nanexa’s core competence and within the company there are several decades of technology experience. ALD has traditionally been used in nano- and microelectronics. Almost all electronic equipment today contains components that have been partially manufactured using ALD.

The technique is based on alternating reactions between gaseous starting materials on a surface (of any geometry). The process builds up layers, atom for atom, with extreme thickness control. When such layers are applied on small drug particles we call them nanoshells. PharmaShell® is made of such shells.