NanoMed Pharmaceuticals has announced that founders Russell J. Mumper, Ph.D. and Michael Jay, Ph.D. have been issued U.S. Patent 7,153,525 entitled "Microemulsions As Precursors To Solid Nanoparticles."
Their invention, assigned to the University of Kentucky Research Foundation and licensed exclusively to NanoMed Pharmaceuticals, covers processes and applications of Nanotemplate Engineering, a nanoparticle manufacturing technology used to formulate small molecules, peptides, proteins, plasmid DNA, and diagnostic agents.
Nanotemplate Engineering involves a rapid, reproducible, and scalable process to manufacture nanoparticles without the need to use expensive equipment commonly required to make other types of pharmaceutical delivery systems. "We created and developed an engineering process to make nanoparticles that literally takes minutes, and can involve simply mixing all of the ingredients and the drug in a single vessel," said Russell J. Mumper, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky. "These nanoparticles can deliver proteins, diagnostic agents and other materials to specific tissues, cells and tumors," Mumper added.
"Drs. Mumper and Jay have shown that these nanoparticles, when manufactured to contain anti-cancer drugs, can deliver the drug more effectively to cancer cells that have developed resistance to the drug when administered alone," said Stephen Benoit, NanoMed President and CEO. "Based on these data, NanoMed is utilizing Nanotemplate Engineering to develop its lead product which is intended to overcome multidrug resistance in remission induction therapy in elderly acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients," Benoit added. Currently, this lead product is in preclinical development and the company expects to begin safety and efficacy tests in AML patients in early 2008, working with Dianna S. Howard, M.D., Associate Professor, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Kentucky Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center.
NanoMed intends to expand its Nanotemplate Engineering product pipeline in 2007 to include the development of a second oncology drug targeted to overcome multidrug resistance. In addition, the company is exploring potential partnerships with pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs to overcome resistance in other types of cancer.
The company's lead product incorporates a compound that is a proven anti- leukemic agent for the treatment of acute leukemias. Leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow and blood characterized by the uncontrolled accumulation of immature blood cells, is primarily a disease of the elderly with the median age at diagnosis of 68 years. Leukemia that occurs in elderly AML patients is intrinsically resistant to chemotherapy and patients suffer inferior outcomes. Many elderly AML patients are not offered and/or refuse standard induction and post-remission therapy. Thus, an efficacious, relatively non-toxic approach is expected to be welcomed by patients and leukemia treatment specialists.