North Carolina State University is seeking commercial partners to license and commercialize a novel cancer immunotherapeutic delivery system of anti-PD-L1.
Cancer immunotherapy research is a rapidly emerging field. Over half of current cancer clinical trials include formats of immunotherapy, the area has seen remarkable results. The first anti-PD-L1 inhibitor has recently and rapidly been approved by the FDA. For a productive immune response a number of immunological checkpoints must be past, to guard against unwanted or harmful self-directed activities, this may act as a barrier to successful immunotherapies. By blocking the inhibitory checkpoints, antitumor activity may be generated, however these checkpoint blockade therapy have limited therapeutic benefits in many patients, with grade ¾ adverse effects occurring. How to enhance these therapies have become a focus in the field.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel delivery system for the promoted delivery of anti-PD-L1 (aPDL1) to eradicate residual tumor cells, using in-situ activation of platelets. Reoccurrence of cancer after a surgical resection remains a significant challenge in cancer management. This is due to residual microtumors in the surgical bed and circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The intrinsic wound and CTCs tropic properties of platelets, can target microtumors at the surgical wound and the CTCs in blood vessels. This has been tested with melanoma and breast-cancer murine models. This successful model overcomes the limitations of anti-PD therapy. The pro-inflammatory environments created by platelets could upregulate PDL1 expression of tumor and boost T cell activity. This new methodology for triggered release of agent, activation by PMP generation, which facilitates aPDL1 binding to tumor and APC cells. This programmed combination delivery strategy may inspire new treatments that involve localized and bio-responsive release of other therapies.
- Reduces reoccurrence of tumors after sectioning
- Reduces side effects of treatment
- Increases treatment effectiveness
- Mechanism may be used with other treatments
Related Patent Information
A patent application related to this invention has been filed.
About the Lead Inventor
Dr. Zhen Gu obtained Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the guidance of Prof. Yi Tang in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Robert Langer at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010 to 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor and founding Director of the Translational Innovation (TraIn) Professional Science Master program in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. He also holds joint positions in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine at UNC. His group studies controlled drug delivery, bio-inspired materials and nanobiotechnology. Prof. Gu is the recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), Pathway Award (2015) and Junior Faculty Award (2014) of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Young Innovator Award in Cellular and Molecular Engineering of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES, 2015) and the Sigma Xi Young Faculty Research Award (2014). MIT Technology Review listed him in 2015 as one of the global top innovators under the age of 35 (TR35). GOOD Magazine listed him in 2016 as one of GOOD 100- “100 individuals who are improving the world through creativity and innovation”.