Nanotechnology Leaps Forward With New Cancer DrugBy: Mike Tuttle - April 5, 2012
A team of scientists, engineers and physicians have found promising effects of a first-in-class targeted cancer drug called BIND-014 in treating solid tumors.
BIND-014 is the first targeted and programmed nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies. In the study, the researchers demonstrate BIND-014’s ability to effectively target a receptor expressed in tumors to achieve high tumor drug concentrations, as well as show remarkable efficacy, safety and pharmacological properties compared to the parent chemotherapeutic drug, docetaxel (Taxotere).
“BIND-014 demonstrates for the first time that it is possible to generate medicines with both targeted and programmable properties that can concentrate the therapeutic effect directly at the site of disease, potentially revolutionizing how complex diseases such as cancer are treated,” said Omid Farokhzad, MD, a physician-scientist in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Anesthesiology, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and study co- senior author.
“Previous attempts to develop targeted nanoparticles have not successfully translated into human clinical studies because of the inherent difficulty of designing and scaling up a particle capable of targeting, long-circulation via immune-response evasion, and controlled drug release,” said Robert Langer, ScD, David H. Koch Institute Professor, MIT and study co-senior author.
According to the researchers, the drug is the first of its kind to reach clinical evaluation and demonstrates a differentially high drug concentration in tumors by targeting drug encapsulated nanoparticles directly to the site of tumors. This leads to substantially better efficacy and safety.
“It is wonderful to witness a world-class team of scientists, engineers, physicians, for-profit and non-project organizations converge to develop this potentially revolutionary technology for treatment of cancers. The effectiveness of this team has been remarkable and serves as model for translational research” said Edward J. Benz, Jr. MD, President of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The research and development of the first targeted programmable nanomedicine to show anti-tumor effects in humans represents the culmination of more than a decade of investigation initially carried out in academic labs at BWH and MIT.