HATFIELD, Pa., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Genisphere LLC has signed a collaborative research agreement with the University of Pennsylvania to study targeted nanotherapeutics in cancer treatment. The collaboration between Genisphere LLC, provider of the 3DNA® drug delivery platform, and the University of Pennsylvania, through Dr. Theresa Busch, will utilize a breast cancer model to study photodynamic therapy (PDT).
PDT is a complementary treatment option that can be added to surgery for removal of residual cancer. Photosensitizing drugs are administered to patients prior to surgery, and then activated by visible light after the tumor tissue is removed, to destroy cancerous cells left behind. The delivery of PDT to the entire surgical field is essential, thus selective photosensitizer accumulation in diseased cells is necessary to avoid therapy-limiting damage to normal tissues.
Dr. Theresa Busch explained, "When used in the intraoperative setting, PDT provides for local treatment at the site of surgery and can be effective in eradicating undetected or unresectable tumor. This concept is suggested by patient outcomes in our previous clinical trials of intraoperative PDT for malignant pleural mesothelioma, and we are currently conducting a randomized phase II clinical trial for this indication. This approach can be adapted for intraoperative PDT of breast cancer; however, the addition of a photosensitizer that is targeted to breast cancer cells could broaden the therapeutic window and selectively increase cytotoxic effect." Physician collaborators in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Drs. Keith Cengel and Gary Freedman, respective chiefs of the clinical PDT and breast cancer services, indicated photosensitizer targeting for breast cancer PDT would fuel its clinical translation. "We hypothesize targeted 3DNA will increase tumor uptake of photosensitizer relative to surrounding mammary tissue, providing for greater efficacy and minimal toxicity in the delivery of PDT."
Tom Bliss, Genisphere's Chief Executive Officer, said "This is the perfect partnering opportunity for Genisphere because of its immediate clinical relevance. It is our earnest desire, in establishing this agreement with Penn, to create the standard for many to come."
Genisphere LLC is the provider of the 3DNA® platform for targeted drug delivery. 3DNA® is a nanoscale, multivalent scaffold made from proprietary, synthetic DNA formed in a flexible, branched structure. 3DNA® nanocarriers are engineered and cross-linked to form a stable architecture while maintaining the biocompatibility of the nucleic-acid building blocks, and demonstrate efficacy and safety with a variety of drug cargos across multiple indications. Genisphere's technology is IP-protected and fully customizable to deliver small molecules, biologics, and nucleic acids with precise specificity enabled by multivalent targeting via antibodies, peptides and other molecular entities. Genisphere leverages a collaborative model to advance its 3DNA® drug delivery platform, and seeks additional partnerships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to improve efficacy and reduce toxicity. Genisphere is also advancing its own lead compounds based on 3DNA® nanotechnology. For more information, please visit http://genisphere.com
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SOURCE Genisphere LLC