Rexahn snags nanotech platform for cancer drug delivery

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals ($RNN) signed an exclusive license agreement of an undisclosed amount with the University of Maryland in Baltimore for a novel cancer-drug delivery platform that makes use of nanotechnology.

Rexahn, a Maryland-based clinical stage biotech, adds the Nano-Polymer-Drug Conjugate Systems (NPDCS) platform to its pipeline of cancer treatments, first using it to deliver the chemotherapy docetaxel in its drug candidate RX-21101. The delivery platform allows the toxic drug to reach the tumor directly, minimizing dangerous side effects and increasing anticancer activity, according to the company.

By encapsulating the cancer drug using the new platform, Rexahn claims RX-21101 decreases the concentration of free docetaxel in the blood, instead targeting it directly to the tumor site. This cuts down on adverse events associated with docetaxel in its free form, including anemia, infection, fever, neutropenia, neuropathy, asthenia, edema, alopecia, nausea and vomiting.

Rexahn states that the NPDCS platform may be used with multiple therapeutic candidates in the future.

"The NPDCS platform complements our three clinical stage compounds with a lower risk that maximizes efficacy while reducing the adverse events associated with anti-cancer agents," said Rexahn CEO Peter D. Suzdak in a statement. "Rexahn looks forward to utilizing the NPDCS platform to develop multiple development candidates for either internal development or out licensing."

- here's the release