MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Dendritic NanoTechnologies
Inc. (DNT), a technology company that develops advanced dendritic polymers
used to produce commercial products, today announced a patent-pending
development: a new family of scalable, precision dendrimer nanostructures.
The new technology, developed by DNT, is called Priostar(TM) and offers a
significant advantage over other precision nanostructures by reducing the
complexity and duration of the synthesis process. The new Priostar family of
scalable, precision dendrimers breaks through previous cost barriers and
addresses industry needs for nanostructures that can be manufactured in high
volumes at costs attractive for a wide variety of uses.
"Our new Priostar dendrimers, as nanoscale building blocks, radically
change the current economics of nanotechnology. They place DNT in the enviable
position of controlling a dominant nanoscale platform with many applications
in multiple billion-dollar markets," said Robert Berry, DNT's chief executive
officer. "This new technology is a potentially disruptive technology since it
will establish a new price point for an essential technology. Furthermore,
Priostar extends DNT's patent estate while accelerating commercialization of
our dendrimer technology."
Priostar dendrimers ("Prio" comes from the Greek for fast, while "star"
represents the shape of the dendrimer) are unique in that they can be produced
in large quantities to precise tolerances. For example, they can be engineered
to meet the FDA's rigid requirements for precision, scalability, and
reproducibility needed for biomedical products, and yet can be produced in the
larger quantities required for use in advanced materials, coatings, personal
and household applications, and other commercial markets. The Priostar family
of dendrimers promises to offer unique competitive advantages to DNT's
commercial business partners.
In a recent research report, "Sizing Nanotechnology's Value Chain,"
leading nano-research firm Lux Research noted that: "Nanotechnology is
approaching a phase change that will see it spread exponentially across
manufactured goods in the next 10 years. In 2004, $13 billion worth of
products will incorporate emerging nanotechnology, less than one-tenth of 1%
of global manufacturing output. In 2014, we project that this figure will rise
to $2.6 trillion -- 15% of manufacturing output in that year."(1)
Priostar Dendrimers Break New Ground in Time, Cost to Produce
The Priostar family of dendrimers share and improve upon the physical
properties of the widely researched PAMAM dendrimers, which were invented by
Dr. Donald Tomalia, DNT's president and chief technology officer. Dendrimers
are sphere-shaped nanostructures that can be precisely engineered to carry
molecules -- either encapsulated in the interior or attached to the surface.
The size and shape of a dendrimer are determined by shells (known as
generations) grown around a core structure, while the reactivity of the
dendrimer is determined by its surface chemical functionality together with
size and shape. The ability to attach many different biological and chemical
compounds to the surface or to encapsulate them within the interior of the
dendrimer have made PAMAM dendrimers attractive to pharmaceutical,
biotechnology and materials companies.
The traditional process for creating PAMAM dendrimers includes an
amidation step that involves thermodynamically driven, lower reaction rate,
chemistry, accompanied by long reaction times involving non-differentiated,
difunctional intermediates (i.e. ethylene diamine and methyl acrylate). These
process features require high excesses of reagents and high dilutions
resulting in low production capacities per reactor volume and thus high costs,
particularly at higher generations.
The Priostar family of dendrimers involves the use of faster, kinetically
driven chemistry (e.g. "click type" or other fast reactions), combined with
the use of polyfunctional branch cell reagents to rapidly and precisely build
dendrimer structures in a controlled way, generation by generation. This
present process yields precise structures with cleaner chemistry, requires
lower excesses of reagents, and lower levels of dilution, thus offering a
higher capacity method that is more easily scaled to commercial dimensions,
and providing new ranges of materials at lower costs. Preliminary studies show
a cost reduction of between two to three orders of magnitude.
The Priostar family of dendrimers is based on a proprietary production
process that is both rapid and selective. This new process allows the
introduction and control of six critical nanostructure design parameters that
may be used to engineer over 50,000 different major variations of sizes,
compositions, surface functionalities and interior nanocontainer spaces that
are expected to offer new properties for use in a wide variety of commercial
"Industry researchers are always looking for innovations and new
technology to enhance their businesses," said Ryan Hayes, DNT's director of
development. "Such new technologies must be easy to manufacture, scale to
large volumes, have unique properties that clearly establish a sustainable
competitive advantage for them, and be inexpensive. The new DNT Priostar
family of dendrimers meets these criteria. Many of our industry contacts have
always been enthusiastic about the versatility of the dendrimer platform but,
in the past, cost and manufacturing complexity were concerns."
New Process Takes Less Time and Adds Functionality
"It takes approximately eight steps and one month of processing time to
create Generation 3 of a PAMAM generation. In contrast, Generation 3 of a
Priostar dendrimer can be created in three steps and just a few days. Our new
dendrimer process also vastly reduces the amount of labor and reagents
normally required by the PAMAM process," said Dr. Donald Tomalia, DNT's
president and chief technology officer. "An exciting and new feature of the
Priostar family of dendrimers is the ability to add extenders or functionality
to the interior of the dendrimer to customize interior spaces and reactivity.
These features give the Priostar dendrimers customizable encapsulation
properties that allow for greater flexibility to tailor a solution for our
According to Tomalia, the Priostar family of dendrimers captures all of
the important PAMAM dendrimer properties and exhibits encapsulation properties
in earlier generations, thus making it less expensive and easier to produce
this highly desired feature. A new unique feature is the amplification
process. Priostar dendrimers surface groups increase by a factor of three (3)
for each succeeding generation (G1=12 surface groups, G2=36 surface groups,
G3=108 surface groups). The PAMAM surface groups only increase by a factor of
2 for each succeeding generation (G1=8 surface groups, G2=16 surface groups,
G3=32 surface groups). This unique amplification process allows rapid building
of surface functionality and molecular weight, therefore obtaining container
properties in fewer generations than for PAMAM. Since each generational
addition adds significant costs due to increases in unit operations, the
attainment of high molecular weights and surface functionality in fewer steps
indicates significant cost reduction potential. In addition, Priostar
dendrimers are more thermally stable (approximately 350 degrees C for Priostar
versus 130 degrees C for PAMAM).
Target Markets and Availability
The Priostar family of dendrimers serves as a major nanostructure platform
that will have broad commercial application. The Priostar family of dendrimers
could have a significant impact on many markets including medical and health,
food and agriculture, energy and electronics, environmental and industrial
safety, personal and household, and chemicals and manufacturing. These
dendrimers will find value in all these industries as they are used to develop
new products and improve existing technologies for diagnostic imaging, drug
delivery, gene therapy, surface coatings, sensors, catalysts, nanofabrication,
solid state lighting, surfactants, binders, antimicrobials, lotions,
cosmetics, pigments, dyes, ion exchange media, and ultrafiltration.
Initially, Priostar dendrimers will not be made available to the research
community. However, DNT plans to establish a limited number of business
partnerships for commercial research which could lead to direct
DENDRITIC NANOTECHNOLOGIES INC. (DNT) develops dendrimer structures that
assist business partners in producing commercial products -- where dendrimers
are the added value differentiator. DNT was incorporated in 2003, is a U.S.
company with 19 employees, and is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. DNT's
technology development is directed by Donald A. Tomalia, Ph.D., President and
Chief Technical Officer. Dr. Tomalia is the inventor of dendrimers and has led
numerous commercial developments during a 25-year management and senior
scientist career with The Dow Chemical Company.
Dendrimers are nanostructures with specific, precise and predictable
physical properties that make them especially useful for pharmaceuticals,
medical imaging, electronics, materials, and the mass commercial markets. DNT
has a broad and comprehensive IP portfolio that comprises over 200 patents in
41 patent families-a unique level of IP concentration among nanotechnology
companies-and has existing licensing agreements with established revenue
streams for dendrimer technology. See http://www.dnanotech.com .
Starpharma (ASX: SPL) is an equity holder in DNT is focused on the
development and application of dendrimer nanotechnologies as drugs against
major diseases. Starpharma's lead dendrimer product, VivaGel(TM) is currently
in U.S. FDA Phase II human clinical trials. VivaGel is a topical microbicide
gel product that has been developed for women as a preventative against the
sexual transmission of HIV.
NOTE: Priostar is a trademark of Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc. All
other trademarks mentioned herein are held by their respective owners.
(1)"Sizing Nanotechnology's Value Chain," October 2004, Lux Research Inc
SOURCE Dendritic NanoTechnologies Inc.