"The role of drug-receptor desensitization (tolerance, fade, tachyphylaxis or down-regulation) for future drug development

The role of drug-receptor desensitization (tolerance, fade, tachyphylaxis or down-regulation) for future drug development


Richard Lanzara, Ph.D. Bio Balance, Inc. 30 W. 86th St. NY, NY USA 10024-3600, e-mail:


One of the perils of drug development is the occurrence of desensitization, which is also called tolerance, fade, tachyphylaxis or down-regulation.  Many in the industry believe that by selecting the proper dosage regime drug-receptor desensitization can be minimized or prevented.  Rightly or wrongly, they create a tightrope that patients and doctors must walk when utilizing these types of medications.  This may affect anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of all pharmaceuticals and be a fertile area for drug development and improvement in the future.  Given some of the disturbing reports that shown upwards of 90,000 cases per year of reported medical errors, the production of safer drugs should be a top priority in the pharmaceutical field.  Yet why haven't the major companies done more to produce safer drugs?  A partial explanation would be that it is much more expensive to ensure safer drugs, but an alternative explanation may be that they lack the technology to understand and correct the problem. Certainly, the major companies would want the safest product on the market.  This would not only make sense from a medical viewpoint, but from a marketing viewpoint as well. Safer drugs require that all of the variables of drug development be evaluated and adjusted for the greatest number of people using these medications.  Surprisingly, the safest drugs may come from using agonist/antagonist combinations in ways to prevent, diminish or control drug-receptor desensitization (see:  This would be analogous to creating designer partial agonists in ways that have been previously overlooked, but would offer a new technology for enhancing the safety and efficacy of many pharmaceuticals.



Richard G. Lanzara, MPH, Ph.D.

President & Principal Scientific Officer

Bio Balance, Inc.

30 West 86th Street

New York, NY 10024



Bio Balance ( is an early stage drug development company that has developed the only tested method to prevent drug desensitization at the receptor level.  This phenomenon, also known as down-regulation, tolerance or fade, occurs with a large number of very commonly used drugs such as dobutamine for heart failure, isoproterenol for shock or asthma, L-dopa for Parkinsons Disease, and morphine for pain. Notably, desensitization cannot be remedied by taking larger dosages. With more and more drug, efficacy diminishes and the drug essentially stops working. By using a patented approach, we create new, combination drug candidates that sustain the therapeutic response with a better side-effects profile than the original drugs.