New nano-sized carrier system for chemotherapeutics

GO-Bio round 8 – Dr. Petar Marinković – Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - School of Pharmaceuticals - Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Beneficiary: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Project Description

Chemotherapy continues to be one of the main pillars of cancer treatment. Although this approach has been established for many years now, chemotherapy remains challenging in the treatment of tumours and metastases: how do the substances reach the target tumour tissue in order to be most effective with as little adverse effects as possible?

That is where the GO-Bio project "NanoCapture" comes in. The team, led by Petar Marinkovic, is working on methods to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy. Initial ideas have already been supported under the BMBF "Innovation academy biotechnology" grant. The GO-Bio grant will be used to advance NanoCap-DLV, a product intended to enhance the delivery of approved nano-sized chemotherapeutics.

For this purpose, the Munich-based team have opted for agents that target the tumour's own blood vessels (DLV agents). They are combined with therapeutic nanoparticles loaded with chemotherapeutics. The goal is to develop the most effective agent delivery system possible and to be able to inject it into the blood of cancer patients.

NanoCapture employs an innovative medication plan that leads to the therapeutic nanoparticles accumulating in the tumour. It targets the tumour directly, increasing the concentration of chemotherapeutics contained there. It not only enhances the efficacy of the therapy and thus a patient's chance of survival, but also considerably reduces the adverse effects of chemotherapy.

Under the GO-Bio grant, the pre-clinical development of the new drug delivery system for approved chemotherapeutics in nanoscale size is to be advanced. The team aims to analyse the mode of action in respect of the dosage and the dose interval of both classes of agents, to determine the ideal nanoparticle size and to support the combination strategy with a proof-of-concept. To date, the researchers have had it in mind to target cancers that are resistant to treatment such as pancreatic carcinoma or triple negative breast cancer, but the procedure is generally applicable for other types of cancer. The NanoCapture GmbH is scheduled to be set-up at the end of the grant stage.