The partners wish to build a long term European, Industry-Academia consortium, to work on the problem of delivering therapeutic agents, e.g. for brain cancer, across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) at the efficacious dose. Current treatment options for brain cancer are limited with patients having a poor prognosis. One of the major hurdles is the BBB which prevents effective doses of drugs reaching the site of disease. There is thus a major need for technologies that can successfully overcome such a hurdle without having a negative effect on safety and tolerability. Pharmidex have developed a drug delivery system that transiently and reversibly opens the BBB to entry of compounds into the brain without inducing tissue injury. It is based on patented lipid-like structures and has been shown to deliver both small molecules and large proteins effectively into the brain. The lead delivery compound for brain cancer appears to be safe and well tolerated on the basis of pre-clinical testing. We initially seek to determine the mechanism of action of the technology for penetrating the BBB; application to different therapeutic agents as well as development of reliable brain cancer animal models to quantify efficacy of nanoparticle-based therapy using imaging technology. We believe this novel delivery technology will be a unique drug discovery tool with the potential to enhance efficacy of established agents, reduce systemic exposure of the chemotherapeutic agent, thus minimising both the on/off-target toxicity through enhancement of drug absorption at the target site. Besides its scientific objectives, OncoNanoBBB will provide a framework for cooperation and knowledge sharing between a pharmaceutical industry and two academic institutions with complementary expertise in project objectives, as well as dissemination of project outcomes.
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