Dendritic Nanotechnologies (DNT) and the NCI entered into an SBIR contract valued at $850,000. The project will use DNT’s Priostar dendrimers to develop a diagnostic test, as well as a therapeutic delivery technology for early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer. This marks the first time that dendrimer nanostructures will be used as both a diagnostic and a delivery tool, according to DNT.
“DNT’s goal is to provide the oncologist with a sensitive, noninvasive diagnostic tool for the early detection and monitoring of patients,” says Robert Berry, CEO. “This approach should significantly improve the diagnostic imaging of early-stage ovarian cancer tumors and the monitoring of therapeutic efficacy.”
DNT expects that this project will result in an IND application for the diagnostic imaging technology and the therapeutic technology. The delivery system will be combined with an MRI agent to improve detection and monitoring of cancerous tissue. The second product will combine the Priostar dendrimer with approved cancer-fighting drugs for delivery of the therapy.
Starpharma Holdings, a major equity holder in DNT, will provide nanopharmaceutical development and regulatory expertise to DNT for the new anticancer product.
DNT says that the dendrimer synthesis processes of this technology allow it to easily move from the laboratory- to large-scale manufacturing with acceptable purity tolerances.
The Priostar dendrimer technology is scalable and produces nanostructures with functionality for carrying, attaching, and encapsulating diagnostic and therapeutic products, according to DNT. The company predicts that dendrimers will deliver therapies with precision and at a lower toxicity than current chemotherapy methods. DNT explains that this will minimize damage to adjacent healthy cells, as dendrimers allow researchers to contain the anticancer drug as a payload within the dendrimer and then use special surface properties of the dendrimer to accurately target the cancerous cells with a lethal dose.