NanoSmart targets tiny 'bubbles' of cancer drugs to childhood tumors

Cancer drugs are notoriously toxic, in adults and certainly in children. In hopes of reducing the side effects of the anti-tumor drugs in kids, among other treatment goals, NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals has joined forces with Children's Hospital Los Angeles to use its drug-delivery technology for drugs against a form of childhood cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. The cancer typically appears in the bones, but can pop up anywhere in the body.

NanoSmart says that its "immunoliposomal" treatments consist of cancer drugs encased in tiny lipid bubbles or liposomes. Those bubbles are coated with a tumor-targeting agent--in this case a human antibody--that zeroes in on cancerous tissue, aiming to limit the toxic impact of the drug on healthy cells. The firm also uses PEG to coat its lipid shells to protect them during their journey through the liver, according to the firm's website.

The Laguna Hills, CA-based biotech will be working with Dr. Timothy Triche, the director of the personalized medicine unit within Children's Hospital Los Angeles's pathology department."We are pleased to work with NanoSmart as part of our ongoing research program in nanoparticle-mediated therapy of Ewing's sarcoma. This research will complement other research currently in progress in our lab," Dr. Triche said in a statement. "It is unique in that NanoSmart has leveraged a naturally occurring human antibody to target the nanoparticles to the tumor."

"This strategic alliance will give NanoSmart access to critical preclinical and clinical resources," James Smith, NanoSmart's president, said in a statement. "In addition to Dr. Triche's expertise and guidance, we look forward to initial characterization and testing of NanoSmart's formulations in the unique model of metastatic Ewing's Sarcoma at Children's Hospital."

- here's the release