The first successful clinical application of nanotechnology was the use of a nanoparticle container to deliver a drug to a tumour. That basic strategy of using a nanoparticle to carry a treatment or indicator molecule has a lot of potential, but requires continued research to determine the therapeutic effectiveness and potential toxicity of each container and payload combination. DLVR Therapeutics and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals focus on the development of nanotechnology-based chemotherapeutic and imaging agents. For each new formulation, the drug delivery characteristics, biological distribution and interaction with cellular targets in tumours need to be determined. These properties will be investigated in tumour models with various imaging techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and optical microscopy. Successful testing of the properties of these nanostructures in preclinical models is a vital step for the industrial partners, as this allows them to readily translate new nanotechnology solutions to the clinic.
Drs. David Jaffray, Gang Zheng & Christine Allen
Pharmacy / Pharmacology
University of Toronto
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