Lankenau Institute for Medical Research Accelerates New Nanotherapy Platform for Treatment of Solid Tumors - Novel Delivery System Enters Preclinical Development Phase
The Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) and its collaborating institution, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), announced on March 9, 2009, that LIMR has been selected by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for a research collaboration to perform preclinical studies on novel therapeutic nanoparticles for treatment of solid tumors. The research will be conducted by the NCI’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL).
The intent of these studies is to characterize the nanoparticles to produce data for the LIMR/MIT team to support its filings with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so that the therapy can advance to clinical trials. The agreement is part of NCI’s Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative, which seeks to accelerate the delivery of new products to cancer patients.
“This collaboration with the NCL will help us acquire the preclinical data that is needed to advance our nanotherapy to clinical trials much more quickly than would otherwise be possible,” said Dr. Janet Sawicki, Professor at LIMR and Principal Investigator of the study.
The LIMR/MIT nanotherapy platform is a polymeric nanoparticle delivery system which is generated by complexing DNA encoding diphtheria toxin with poly (β-amino ester) polymer. Gene promoter sequences that are highly active in tumor cells are used to target the expression of toxin in tumors, while sparing healthy cells from deleterious toxic effects. The therapy can be tailored to treat different solid tumor types by changing the promoter sequences that control toxin expression. In early stage laboratory studies, the technology has been applied to treatment of prostate, ovarian, pancreatic, and cervical cancer models.
The NCL has developed a series of assay protocol “cascades” that produce a detailed characterization profile for many different kinds of nanoparticles with potential medical applications. These characterization profiles ensure that biomedical researchers have precise information about the particles, such as size, morphology, purity, chemical composition and stability. These protocols include toxicology tests that have been adopted as standards by ASTM International.
About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
Founded in 1927, the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research center located in suburban Philadelphia on the campus of the Lankenau Hospital. As part of the Main Line Health System, LIMR is one of the few freestanding, hospital-associated medical research centers in the nation. The faculty and staff at the Institute are dedicated to advancing an understanding of the causes of cancer and heart disease. They use this information to help improve diagnosis and treatment of these diseases as well as find ways to prevent them. They are also committed to extending the boundaries of human health and well-being through technology transfer and education directed at the scientific, clinical, business and lay public communities. For more information visit: www.limr.org.
About David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT
Launched by MIT in 2008, the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research (KI) both transforms and transcends the Center for Cancer Research (CCR). CCR was founded in 1974 by Nobel Laureate and MIT Professor Salvador Luria, CCR has made enormous contributions to the field of cancer research. The Koch is one of only seven National Cancer Institute-designated basic research centers in the US and is comprised of faculty that have earned the most prestigious national and international science honors including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. For more information visit: web.mit.edu/ki/index.html.
About the NCI Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory:
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory in 2005—in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—to perform preclinical efficacy and toxicity testing of nanoparticles. NCL serves as a national resource and knowledge base for all cancer researchers to facilitate the regulatory review of nanotechnologies intended for cancer therapies and diagnostics. NCL, part of NCI’s Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, works to accelerate the transition of basic nanoscale particles and devices into clinical applications. For more information: http://nano.cancer.gov/about_alliance/nanotech_characterization_lab.asp