Despite tremendous progress in the treatment of several malignancies, glioblastoma continues to be the less curable form of any cancer with an overall average survival of 20 months from diagnosis. In this PoC, an interdisciplinary team of engineers, biotechnologists and technology-transfer experts will work to prove that a ground-breaking drug delivery implant – microMESH – can be engineered to deploy intracranially a chemo-immuno-combination therapy to eradicate glioblastoma and minimize its life-long complications.
microMESH will be engineered to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs (taxanes) and monoclonal antibodies (anti-CD47), that normally would not cross the blood brain barrier, uniformly and deep in the tumor bed. microMESH will comprise two physically distinct compartments – a micrometric network of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) strands, carrying taxane molecules; a poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) microlayer, encapsulating anti-CD47. Upon deposition on the tumor mass, the PVA microlayer will dissolve in a few days releasing directly on the tumor margins anti-CD47 while the thin and flexible PLGA network will progressively conform to the surrounding surface, establishing an intimate interaction with the malignant cells, and release taxanes in a sustained fashion over several weeks. While taxanes will prevent the rapid proliferating glioblastoma cells from growing, anti-CD47 will stimulate the removal of cancer cells by resident and infiltrating immune cells.
The success of this PoC will result in a preclinically validated microMESH for the treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma. Upon subsequent completion of GLP toxicological and cGMP manufacturing studies, microMESH will advance to a Phase 1/2 trial expected to start as early as 2024. In this space, companies with validated Phase 1/2 assets have market capitals ranging from 50M to 400M€. A successful microMESH could lead to revenues of 10M €/year starting already in 2027.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme