Dendritic Nanotechnologies Receives National Cancer Institute Contract to Develop Dendrimer-Based Diagnostic and Therapeutic Delivery System for Ovarian Cancer

Sep 29, 2006, 01:00 ET from Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc.

    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
 $1.5 billion.
     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
 predictable architecture."
     A type of precisely-defined, branched nanostructure. Dendrimers have
 demonstrated applications in the medical, electronics, chemicals, and
 materials industries.
     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.
     About Starpharma
     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
     About DNT
     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 .
     Priostar and STARBURST are trademarks of Dendritic Nanotechnologies
 Inc. VivaGel is a trademark of Starpharma Holdings Limited.

SOURCE Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc.