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PACAB - Drug Loaded Nanoparticles for Treatment of Peritoneal Metastases

Alternative title: PACAB - Nanopartikler for lokal behandling av peritoneale metastaser

Awarded: NOK 4.1 mill.

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Project Period:

2021 - 2022

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SINTEF has developed numerous technologies for diagnosis and cancer therapy, using nanoparticle delivery systems. A PACA (poly alkyl cyanoacrylate) nanoparticle drug delivery platform has emerged from this research and a transition of this technology into a commercial spin-off company is currently ongoing. The PACA technology is based on use of polymeric nanoparticles, and the lead candidate PACAB is intended for treatment of peritoneal metastases (PM) originating from ovarian and colorectal cancer. PM, also referred to as cancer metastasis in peritoneum, is one of the most serious complications of gastrointestinal and gynaecological malignancies, and the survival rates of these patients are poor as a large proportion of patients often experience peritoneal relapses and resistance to subsequent chemotherapy. PACAB is a PACA nanoparticle product loaded with cabazitaxel, intended for local administration in the peritoneal cavity, that can represent a safer and more efficient treatment of PM. Cabazitaxel is a highly potent taxane with cytotoxic activity against a broad range of cancers, but severe side effects and very low solubility has limited its clinical use. There is therefore an urgent need for the development of alternative formulations. A key feature of PACAB is its unique ability to accumulate at the tumour site and hence increase the efficacy and minimize the systemic drug toxicity. The potential of PACAB has recently been verified in preclinical safety and efficacy studies. PACAB resulted in reduced burden of the drug compared to the commercially available drug Jevtana® (cabazitaxel), and studies in mouse models of PM have shown that PACAB selectively accumulates in tumours following peritoneal injection, resulting in a tenfold increase in drug concentration in tumours compared to free drug. This high accumulation resulted in better treatment efficacy, confirming the potency of this novel drug delivery system. SINTEF have established a spin-off company where the aim is to translate PACAB and potential pipeline candidates into the clinic and subsequently to the market, focusing on hard-to-treat cancers of high unmet medical need.

Vår visjon er å forbedre progonsene til pasienter med peritoneale metastaser ved å tilby en ny målrettet behandling som gagner pasientene ved å øke effektiviteten og forbedre tolerabiliteten og dermed ha en stor samfunnsmessig innvirkning for pasienter i risikogruppen og redusere helsekostnader. Dette prosjektet støtter FNs bærekraftsmål 3: Sikre sunne liv og fremme velvære i alle aldre. Eggstokkreft kan være spesielt utfordrende for kvinner på grunn av sykdommens avanserte natur på diagnosetidspunktet, bivirkningene av sykdommen, de gjentatte syklusene av aggressiv terapi og det opplevde tapet av femininitet ved fjerning av reproduktive organer. I tillegg har kvinner med denne sykdommen sjelden mulighet for kurativ behandling. De fleste vil møte den reelle muligheten for å dø.

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