ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico- Peptineo, a privately held biotechnology company, announced today that the company has inked an exclusive option for a broad set of nanotechnology patents in the area of drug delivery. Under this agreement, Peptineo will work to commercialize drug delivery technologies developed in the laboratories of Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi and Dr. Jean M.J. Fréchet. “Securing an option agreement marks a significant event in the evolution of Peptineo and will enhance on-going research efforts within the company,” noted Dr. Sheldon Keith Jordan, CEO. “For Peptineo, Dr. Bertozzi’s and Dr. Fréchet’s collective body of research represent the highest standard of scientific expertise and will afford Peptineo multiple opportunities to address unmet drug delivery challenges in many therapeutic areas,” commented Dr. Jordan.
While it is often useful to release therapeutic agents under mildly acidic conditions, few existing materials developed for drug delivery are both acid-sensitive and biodegradable/bioerodible. To address this gap, Jean Fréchet and a team of scientists have developed a new class of polymers that can encapsulate proteins, DNA/RNA-based materials, and other bioactive agents for vaccines, drug delivery, and gene therapy. A key feature for this class of polymers is that they can be employed in any application that necessitates materials with precise control over the release of encapsulated cargoes. In the human body, these polymers will be able to quickly release their payloads or be eroded over time -breaking down into neutral byproducts that can be safely eliminated. Materials made from the polymers can be engineered to degrade at specific rates, ranging from a day to many months at physiological pH, depending on the formulation used. Additionally, these same materials will allow for greater variation in the type of encapsulated therapeutic materials, targeted cell types, and drug release kinetics than are currently available -including microencapsulation materials like poly-(lactide-co glycolic acid) (PLGA).
With regard to research efforts led by Carolyn Bertozzi, she and her colleagues have developed a method for creating high-purity, nano-sized polymer particles that display specific biological ligands on their surfaces. The resultant nanoparticles are hollow, spherical, polymerized liposomes that bind to biological targets and can be used as an inhibitor or be used for delivering a drug loaded in its interior. This technology forms the basis for a new class of materials that have great therapeutic potential. Briefly, the material starts out as a membrane in the spherical form of a liposome that is self-assembled from individual monomers. Monomers that bind to pathogens (such as influenza virus) or bind to disease sites in-vivo (inflamed tissue) are incorporated into the self-assembling mixture –thereby providing critical in-vivo targeting capabilities. Finally, a quick and efficient polymerization by light gives a solid shell to the resultant nanoparticle.
About Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD
Carolyn Bertozzi is the T.Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Senior Faculty Scientist. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
About Jean M.J. Fréchet, PhD
Professor Fréchet, a polymer chemist best known for his contributions in a wide range of fields, including modern electronics and biotechnology, has authored approximately 900 scientific papers and patents, has over 60,000 citations with an H-index of 128. He was recently the Henry Rapoport Chair of Organic Chemistry. In addition, he is currently the Vice-President for research at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
With an expanding portfolio of intellectual property and interdisciplinary technical expertise, Peptineo represents the new face of biotechnology and bioengineering. By employing a systems-based approach, Peptineo technical solutions involve drug delivery combinations including “tunable” nano-carriers, engineered peptides, re-formulated pharmaceuticals, and as appropriate, recombinant proteins. Additionally, Peptineo is developing technologies that will greatly enhance and accelerate the drug discovery process.
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SOURCE: Peptineo, LLC