When it comes to drug delivery, it's hard these days to overlook the buzzing field of nanoengineering. Highly targeted nanoparticles are on the cutting edge of the growing field, and according to BIND Biosciences' Jeff Hrkach, there are big things in store for the tiny drug carriers.
Hrkach, BIND's senior vice president of technology, research and development, told FierceDrugDelivery that the company sees its ongoing development of Accurins--unique nanoparticles that directly target solid tumors--as the next generation of cancer treatment. Hrkach represented BIND as the keynote speaker at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' 2013 Global Congress on Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology earlier this month.
"The question we ask is whether nanomedicine is evolutionary or revolutionary," Hrkach said. "If we're looking for a revolution in the future of cancer treatment, it's not about taking an 'oldie but a goodie' but about doing something new."
This is where BIND's novel delivery platform, BIND-014, can make major headway, he said. The nanomedicine is designed to deliver a heightened dose of the cancer drug docetaxel directly to the site of solid tumors. The nanoengineered system can effectively deliver up to 10 times the amount of the drug in a way that preserves healthy tissue. The "programmable" antibodies on the drug-carrying vehicles allow for detailed control of when and where drugs are released, bringing with them the promise of personalized medicine.
"With our controlled diffusional release, we can carry greater amounts of a drug throughout the tumor," Hrkach said. "BIND technology is somewhat unique in combining both passive and active targeting to get the most out of the treatment. It's this targeting platform that makes them unique. Success in nanomedicine is to have a targeted therapy we can control to a high degree."
To that end, BIND, co-founded by MIT professor Robert Langer and Harvard's Omid Farokhzad, recently signed a development deal with Amgen ($AMGN) to commercialize the delivery platform as a kinase inhibitor nanomedicine. If Accurins do what Hrkach says they will in upcoming Phase II trials, the kinase inhibitor could be a leap forward for the cutting edge of cancer therapy. -- Michael Gibney (Email | Twitter)