The clinical use and effect of most conventional therapies (e.g. for cancer) are limited, either due to insufficient accumulation of the drug in the target tissue or its severe toxic effects on healthy tissues. Consequently, many treatments are not achieving their full effect and many other highly promising compounds never make it to the market. A promising approach to address this issue of bioavailability is the design and development of nanocarriers. These nanocarriers need to provide stable protection of the compound in the blood stream while they should release the compound at the targeted tissue. Currently, there are no nanocarriers available that effectively address this challenging trade-off.
We have constructed nanocontainers (NCs) that show high promise to address this issue. Our NCs are engineered from biocompatible and biodegradable polymers and are unique in their stability and resistance to drug leakage in the circulation, while they exert conformational changes under specific conditions targeting at the pathological tissue, inducing localised drug release. This technology leverages the fact that tumours (as well as other types of diseased tissue) are known to have specific extracellular environments with lower pH, higher temperature and enhanced glutathione levels compared to healthy tissues. Our NCs integrate four stimuli, namely pH, temperature (T), reducing environments (glutathione) and alternating magnetic fields. With the PoC grant we aim at obtaining in vivo evidence of the functional added value of our proprietary NCs for the delivery of anti-tumour and antibacterial drugs. Furthermore, we aim to strengthen our IP position and develop a business plan thatdescribes theoptimal route-to-market for our technology.
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