European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Nanoassemblies for the subcutaneous self-administration of anticancer drugs

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - THERMONANO (Nanoassemblies for the subcutaneous self-administration of anticancer drugs)

Reporting period: 2020-03-01 to 2021-08-31

In the context of the THERMONANO project, we have reported the first preclinical development of a simple, yet efficient, drug delivery approach that enabled the subcutaneous administration of a representative irritant/vesicant anticancer drug.
We showed that our strategy was safe with no observed local toxicity, and that it led to a significantly greater anticancer efficacy when benchmarked against the commercially available parent drug administered intravenously.
We have therefore developed a breakthrough technology in the field of cancer therapy as this approach may be applied to any kind of anticancer drugs.
If successfully translated to the clinic and to the market, this approach would be more comfortable for the patient compared to the intravenous route as it is less invasive. Also, no hospital stay would be required, thus letting consider at-home chemotherapy and even self-administration.
We first developed new degradable, thermosensitive copolymers that can be hydrolytically degraded much faster than aliphatic polyesters. Those building blocks are now used to make drug-loaded nanocarriers to be injected subcutaneously.
We also found a way to safely administer subcutaneously anticancer drugs. Our system gave higher anticancer efficacy than the commercial formulation of the parent drugs, which is unprecedented in drug delivery and anticancer therapy. A patent was filed (WO 2019097025) and a startup company ( was created to push forward this breakthrough technology to the clinic.
We have also performed advanced characterizations by SAXS and modeling of a small library of different drug-loaded nanocarriers and will soon achieve a comprehensive structure-solubility/injectability/drug release/toxicity relationships that will greatly help us to select the best candidates for further in vivo studies.
Those systems have also been made: (i) more sophisticated by implementing targeting moieties and (ii) more versatile by applying this strategy to other drugs to broaden the range of type of cancers.
In the THERMONANO project, we have developed a drug delivery approach that allow to safely administer vesicant/irritant anticancer drugs subcutaneously and that can outperform the commercial formulation of the parent drugs.
This is unprecedented in drug delivery and anticancer therapy as there is no example of such drugs that be administered subcutaneously.
Until the end of the project, we plan to optimize this approach and to apply it to different types of anticancer drugs in order to broaden the range of cancers that can be treated.
We also plan to investigate different ways to perform subcutaneous administration in order to facilitate self-administration and stimulate the development of at-home chemotherapy.