NC State is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a novel drug delivery system to treat cancer.
The use of protein therapy to treat cancer requires a reliable and effective delivery system. Current methods of drug delivery invoke intracellular pathways, which function in the cytosol of the cell and result in compromised efficiency due to cell membrane barriers and endosome escape. Extracellular pathways offer a promising alternative to induce cancer cell death by activating appropriate receptors at the plasma membrane.
Researchers at NC State have developed a novel drug delivery system to treat cancer that utilizes the extrinsic pathway. The technology involves the construction and deconstruction of extracellular drug delivery depots, which carry the necessary proteins to the surface of the cell, triggering signaling cascades and targeting the tumor for sustained release at its active sites. The release of the drug is dependent on the microenvironment of the tumor, and transformation occurs specifically to induce apoptosis in tumor cells while exhibiting insignificant toxicity to normal cells. The novel drug delivery system is highly efficient at signaling activation of cell death in cancer cells and may be adapted for other non-cancer therapeutic uses as an extrinsic drug delivery system.
- Specific induction of cell death
- Highly efficient signaling activation
- Release of anticancer drugs to most active destination
- Increased retention time at the tumor site
- Inhibition of cellular internalization
- Extrinsic apoptosis activation
- Transformable behavior of delivery system based on tumor environment
About the Inventor
Dr. Zhen Gu is an Assistant Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Gu earned a Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering/nanobiotechnology from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include health and nanobiotechnology, nano-characterization and nano-materials and engineering.
Quanyin Hu is a graduate student in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hu earned a M.S. in molecular pharmaceuticals from Fudan University in China. His research interests include biomacromolecules for drug delivery and biomolecular engineering.