Merck supports the use of nanotechnology to develop innovative drugs, vaccines and consumer products that address the unmet medical and wellness needs of people and animals.

Nanotechnology broadly describes the use of very small materials—ranging from the extreme size reductions of normal materials to unique, minute substances such as carbon nanotubes and other exotic materials.

The testing required for all drugs ensures that nano-based pharmaceuticals are safe and effective for patient use. Our safety and health professionals closely monitor the developments in this area; based on current knowledge of nanoparticles, our existing methods for assessing risks to workers and the environment are valid, and our existing controls are well suited to minimize exposure to employees and the environment.

Examples of how Merck is using nanotechnology:

  • Human Health: EMEND® (aprepitant), uses a nanoscale milling approach to make its granules very small, so that they are more easily absorbed by the digestive tract
  • Merck Animal Health (Intervet): Nanoscale milling is used for the active ingredient in PANACUR® (fenbendazole) to produce a stable and more easily re-suspendable formulation
  • Merck Consumer Health: Some Coppertone® products contain micronized zinc oxide, which provides improved broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection from the sun’s damaging rays, reducing the risk of sunburn, early skin aging and skin cancer. Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) have been extensively studied, and current scientific data, including our own studies, demonstrate that skin contact with these particles does not represent a health concern.

Last Updated July 23, 2013