MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Dendritic
Nanotechnologies Inc. (DNT) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have
entered into a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract valued at
$850,000. The project will use DNT's Priostar(TM) dendrimers to develop a
new generation of targeted diagnostic and therapeutic delivery technology
for the early detection and treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer. Annual
U.S. expenditures for medical treatment of ovarian cancer are approximately
This marks the first time that dendrimer nanostructures will be used as
both a diagnostic tool and a vehicle to deliver higher concentrations of
therapeutic agents to cancerous cells. Current chemotherapy methods are
often toxic to normal healthy cells and cause serious side effects as they
perform their life-saving function of destroying diseased tissue. It is
anticipated that dendrimers will be able to deliver therapies with
precision and at a lower toxicity that minimizes damage to adjacent healthy
DNT's Priostar dendrimer delivery system will be combined with a
magnetic resonance imaging agent to create an improved product for
detecting and monitoring cancerous tissue. A second product will be
developed by combining the Priostar dendrimer with approved cancer-fighting
drugs to improve and deliver the therapy for ovarian epithelial cancer. DNT
expects this project will result in the filing of an Investigational New
Drug (IND) application for the diagnostic imaging technology, and a
subsequent IND for the therapeutic technology.
Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL; OTC: SPHRY), a major equity
holder in DNT, has already conducted a successful safety trial in humans
for a separate dendrimer product, VivaGel(TM), a vaginal microbicide
currently in development for the prevention of HIV and genital herpes. This
trial was conducted under a U.S. Food and Drug Administration IND
application. Starpharma is a leader in the application of dendrimers to
human medicine and will provide nano-pharmaceutical development and
regulatory expertise to DNT for the new anti-cancer product.
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic cancer
accounting for more deaths than endometrial and cervical cancers combined.
Ovarian cancer is especially difficult to diagnose as it is not associated
with any specific signs or symptoms; the vast majority of women are
diagnosed in an advanced stage. The American Cancer Society estimated that
22,220 new ovarian cancer cases would occur in 2005 (equivalent to 1 new
case every 23 minutes) with an overall mortality rate of 6 percent. The
5-year survival rate for women who are diagnosed with an advanced stage
ovarian cancer is only 15 to 20 percent, whereas the 5-year survival rate
for women who are diagnosed in an early stage of the disease approaches 90
"Research shows that early diagnosis and treatment of this cancer are
critical determinants of whether the patient will survive this disease,"
said Dr. Robert Berry, CEO of DNT. "DNT's goal is to provide the oncologist
with a sensitive, non-invasive diagnostic tool for the early detection and
monitoring of patients. This approach should significantly improve the
diagnostic imaging of early stage ovarian cancer tumors and the monitoring
of therapeutic efficacy."
DNT's Priostar(TM) Dendrimer Technology
DNT announced its Priostar family of dendrimers (patents pending) in
May 2005. The Priostar dendrimer technology is scalable and precise, and
produces nanostructures with unprecedented functionality for carrying,
attaching, and encapsulating diagnostic and therapeutic products. The
Priostar dendrimer synthesis processes allow DNT to easily move from the
laboratory to large- scale manufacturing with acceptable purity tolerances
and at a price point that is sustainable.
Frost & Sullivan, a New York-based growth consulting company, recently
awarded "Advanced Medical Applications Technology Innovation of the Year"
to DNT. The analyst firm stated that: "DNT was awarded for its work in
developing and commercializing the Priostar family. While nanotechnology in
general has promised great advances, there are relatively few tangible
products with clear and present applications. Moreover, many of these
products cannot be cost- effectively produced in large enough volumes.
DNT's dendritic nanostructures appear to serve as effective delivery
vehicles in vitro and in vivo due to their specific, precise and
A type of precisely-defined, branched nanostructure. Dendrimers have
demonstrated applications in the medical, electronics, chemicals, and
This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds
from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the
Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No.
HHSN261200622013C. The successful completion of this project may lead to
the establishment of a new treatment option for ovarian cancer and may
become an integral part of oncologists' standard treatment therapy for
ovarian and other types of cancer.
Starpharma Holdings Limited leads the world in the application of
dendrimer-based nanotechnology to pharmaceuticals. The company's lead
development product is VivaGel(TM) (SPL7013 Gel), a vaginal microbicide
designed to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections,
including HIV and genital herpes. VivaGel is the first example of a product
to come from Starpharma's dendrimer-based discovery pipeline, which also
includes specific programs in the fields of ADME Engineering(TM) (using
dendrimers to control where and when drugs go when introduced to the body),
polyvalency (using the fact that dendrimers can activate multiple receptors
simultaneously) and targeted diagnostics (using dendrimers as a scaffold to
which both location-signaling and targeting groups are added to allow
location of specific cell type, such as cancer cells). See
Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc. (DNT) is committed to the innovation,
development and commercialization of its proprietary Priostar(TM) dendrimer
technology to create new commercial products with business partners. DNT
was incorporated in 2003, is a U.S. company with 16 employees, and is
located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. DNT's chief scientific officer, Donald
A. Tomalia, Ph.D., is the inventor of dendrimers and led numerous
commercial developments during a 25-year management and senior scientist
career with The Dow Chemical Company. DNT has a broad and comprehensive IP
portfolio that comprises more than 173 patents and 33 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 .
Priostar and STARBURST are trademarks of Dendritic Nanotechnologies
Inc. VivaGel is a trademark of Starpharma Holdings Limited.
SOURCE Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc.