North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial licensee to commercialize a microneedle patch which enhances immune responses through Blockade of PD1 and IDO.
There are over one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year, including over 75,000 new cases of invasive melanoma. The clinical benefit of immunoregulation in cancer therapy has been limited by inefficient infiltration of lymphocytes. In addition, the off-target binding of therapeutics to normal tissues has caused immune-related adverse events. Thus, despite significant advances in the treatment of melanoma, targeted treatment is still desired.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a targeted microneedle patch. The patch contains embedded immunotherapeutic nanocapsules assembled from an inhibitor of IDO which are loaded with anti-PD1 antibodies. This provides for a sustained release of the drug as well as enhances the checkpoint inhibitors in the local tumor microenvironment. The patch has been tested in a mouse melanoma model and have demonstrated potent antitumor efficacy.
- Effective localized delivery of Anti-PD1 antibodies
- Reduced immunosuppression at the local site
- Enhanced effective T Cell immunity
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”.