SYDNEY, Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EnGeneIC, Ltd., an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on revolutionizing the treatment of cancer through the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents directly to cancer cells, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued U.S. Patent No. 8,772,013 to EnGeneIC for its patent application entitled, "Methods for Targeted in Vitro and in Vivo Drug Delivery to Mammalian Cells via Bacterially Derived Intact Minicells."
The patent describes and claims a targeted drug delivery method that combines bacterial minicells and a "bispecific ligand" in a composition lacking undesirable contamination from parent bacterial cells and so-called membrane blebs. The patented method draws on important discoveries by EnGeneIC inventors, including their finding that a range of different cancer cells, although non-phagocytic, nevertheless internalize drug-packaged minicells when they are targeted to the cells by a suitable bispecific ligand.
The inventors also discovered that any one of a variety of structurally dissimilar chemotherapeutic drugs can be packaged effectively into intact minicells. The EnGeneIC methodology therefore opens the way to exploiting drug candidates that have been deemed too toxic for human application.
Jennifer MacDiarmid, Ph.D., joint-CEO of EnGeneIC, commented, "This patent marks a substantial advance in a new oncology paradigm founded on EnGeneIC's proprietary EDV™ nanocell platform. The patented technology affords pinpoint accuracy in delivering a chemotherapeutic drug to targeted tumor cells, reducing drug-related toxicity without sacrificing therapeutic impact. Moreover, the stability of EDV™ nanocells, due to their bacterial nature, prevents 'payload leakage' until they are internalized by cancer cells. As such, EDV™ nanocells offer the opportunity to utilize highly cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents that are normally limited due to harmful toxicity to healthy tissues."
Himanshu Brahmbhatt, Ph.D., joint-CEO of EnGeneIC, continued, "With this patent EnGeneIC continues to build a global IP estate that already includes granted claims, in the U.S. and elsewhere, to using EDV™ nanocells to deliver not only small molecule chemotherapeutic drugs but also siRNA, miRNA and shRNA, among other nucleic acid molecules. The EDV™ nanocell technology is truly unprecedented in that no other technology has been able to combine elements of highly targeted, cytotoxic chemotherapy and cancer immunotherapy into a single therapeutic."
About EDV™ Nanocell Technology
EnGeneIC's bacterially-derived EDV™ nanocells are a powerful nanoparticle drug delivery system designed to directly target and effectively kill tumor cells with minimal toxicity, while at the same time stimulate the immune system's natural anti-tumor response.
Intravenously injected EDV™ nanocells exit the leaky vascular system only within tumors and attach to cancer cells via a specially designed, targeted bi-specific antibody. Once attached, the nanocell is able to enter the tumor cell and deliver a drug payload of up to one million drug molecules per nanocell. In parallel, the bacterial cell wall of the nanocells stimulates key components of the immune system, which are then activated to seek out and destroy cancer cells.
About EnGeneIC, Ltd.
EnGeneIC is an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on revolutionizing the treatment of cancer through the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents directly to cancer cells. The company's lead technology platform, EDV™, utilizes antibody-targeted, bacterially derived, non-living "nanocells" to release high concentrations of chemotherapeutic agents, molecularly targeted drugs, and RNA-interference molecules directly into targeted tumor cells. Doing so, EDV™ nanocells enable current cancer treatments to be more potent and far less toxic, while also offering a potential new means for treating drug-resistant cancers. EnGeneIC is currently preparing an IND for FDA submission, with plans to launch a Phase1/2a clinical trial in recurrent glioblastoma patients in early 2015. Trials are also in initial or planning stages for non-small cell lung cancer.
For more information please visit www.engeneic.com
Jennifer MacDiarmid, Ph.D
Joint-CEO and Director
SOURCE EnGeneIC, Ltd.