Aphios reels in subcontract for nanoformulation of a new cancer-fighting drug

Aphios gets subcontract to use its nanotechnology for new cancer drugs.

Woburn, MA-based Aphios said it landed a subcontract for the nanoformulation of a new superhydrophobic anticancer drug called Brefeldin A.

The subcontract is through Leidos Biomedical Research with the prime contractor the Frederick National Lab, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.

The company’s nanotechnology is hoped to help break roadblocks of several promising investigational products under development to treat cancer, the company said.

One of those investigational drugs is Brefeldin A, a cyclic macrolide with a lactone ring. The drug has been shown to control protein trafficking, signal transduction cycles and apoptosis. Still, clinical development of the drug has been hampered by the inability to develop an intravenous formulation of the water-insoluble, highly hydrophobic API.

Ultimately, researchers are looking to pair Brefeldin A with Aphios’ SuperFluids critical fluid nanosomes technology for intravenous administration to achieve and maintain therapeutic plasma concentrations.

“This process is very similar to one that we have developed for Camptothecin (CPT), a highly hydrophobic and water-insoluble lactone, derivatives of which are approved by the FDA for colorectal, cervical, pancreatic and other cancers,” Dr. Trevor P. Castor, principal investigator of the subcontract, said in a statement. “Aphios is also developing nanosomes of neat CPT, Camposomes, to improve efficacy and reduce toxicity of this potent topoisomerase-1 inhibitor for pancreatic and other cancers.”

- here’s the release
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