ROCKVILLE, MD – CytImmune Sciences, Inc. a clinical stage nano-biotechnology company focused on the delivery of therapeutics, today announced that it was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to advance its tumor-targeted nanotherapies based on the Company’s proprietary pegylated colloidal gold nanoparticle platform. The grant of $500,000 over a two-year period was awarded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“This Phase I grant will make it possible for CytImmune to develop a true multifunctional cancer therapy, providing funding for its preclinical evaluations and the manufacturing process for the production of CYT-21001,” said Dr. Larry Tamarkin, CytImmune’s CEO and President.
The heterogeneity of tumor cells present in a solid tumor requires the development of multifunctional therapeutics that attack multiple pathways of solid tumor biology. To address this problem CytImmune scientists propose binding a known tumor-killing agent, Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), to pegylated colloidal gold nanoparticles to serve as a tumor-targeting molecule as well as an anti-cancer agent. Binding TNF to the surface of pegylated colloidal gold nanoparticles is the core of a family of new combinatorial cancer nanotherapies that will deliver potent anti-cancer therapies directly to the tumor while avoiding healthy organs.
The first of these new combination drugs, termed CYT-21001, will consist of TNF and a thiolated paclitaxel analog bound to the surface of 27 nm pegylated colloidal gold nanoparticles. This combination drug will be evaluated for its ability to sequester both TNF and paclitaxel within the solid tumors and to cause significant anti-tumor responses in TNF resistant tumors. Successful pre-clinical proof-of-concept of the CYT21001drug combinatorial therapy would effectively support further clinical development of these drugs and other colloidal gold-based combination nanotherapeutics.
“This grant will allow us to complete the preclinical studies on CYT-21001 in preparation for human clinical trials,” said Tamarkin. “Continued NCI support of this program underscores our ability to deliver on product development milestones and validates the efficacy and practicality of our therapeutic approach,” he said. According to Tamarkin, the economic and societal benefits of such a treatment strategy are not difficult to imagine, since this treatment could potentially be done on an outpatient basis with minimal to no associated patient hospitalization, leading to improved patient quality of life.
The SBIR program is a competitive peer-reviewed grant program that provides support to small businesses to develop innovative technologies with significant commercial potential.
CytImmune is a clinical stage nano-biotechnology company whose mission is to improve the biodelivery and efficacy of anti-cancer therapies. CytImmune is currently harnessing proven cancer therapeutic drugs by binding them to colloidal gold nanoparticles using its patented formulation that safely delivers those drugs while avoiding toxicities that currently prevent or severely limit clinical use. CytImmune also intends to improve existing approved and marketed chemotherapies through improved targeted delivery, while extending their patent life. For more information on CytImmune, please visit www.cytimmune.com.