Posted: March 24, 2010

Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals Collaborates with the National Cancer Institute to Evaluate Cancer Cell Targeting Nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the private pharmaceutical company focused on therapies exploiting distinctive cancer cell metabolism announced that it has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with the United States National Cancer Institute ("NCI"). This collaboration calls for Cornerstone to apply its proprietary Emulsiphan cancer selective delivery nanotechnology platform to a class of agents developed at the NCI's Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program. These agents developed within the laboratory of renowned biologist Dr. Robert Blumenthal, can be turned into toxic compounds by targeted radiation and ultrasound. Cornerstone and NCI will evaluate the potential of these combined technologies in reducing tumors.
Cornerstone has been able to formulate multiple types of anti-cancer compounds in Emulsiphan, its novel lipid oil nanoemulsion. Emulsiphan is designed to maximize drug concentration into tumor cells thereby enhancing the anti-cancer compound's selectivity and specificity, leading to a potentially safer and more effective cancer treatment. This is of particular importance for those tumors that may be located in a site not accessible to surgical intervention. Examples include, but are not limited to, tumors of the brain, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Dr. Yossef Raviv in Dr. Blumenthal's laboratory at the NCI discovered that a class of agents may become toxic when delivered to cancer cells and activated by an external energy source. The NCI and Cornerstone have agreed to collaborate to evaluate the combination of these agents with Emulsiphan.
"This is an important step forward towards achieving the dream of safe and effective cancer therapy for the most difficult to treat cancer types," remarked Dr. Robert Shorr, Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals' Chief Executive Officer. "We are very excited to work with the NCI and look forward to progressing from studies in cell tumor models to actual human clinical studies."
Many approved drugs as well as newer cancer selective agents in use or in development today are difficult to solubilize and rely on diffusion after intravenous or oral administration to reach tumor cells. Often drugs may be metabolized and cleared from the body prior to reaching their target and as cells are distal from a tumor's vasculature, it is more difficult for a drug to reach a sufficient concentration to be useful. While technology continues to be evaluated for increasing the concentration of drugs in a tumor mass, some of these may actually inhibit the uptake of a drug into tumor cells. Cornerstone's Emulsiphan drug delivery technology aims to overcome these challenges so that increasing the required effective dose doesn't deliver treatment at the expense of risking a patient's safety.
About Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals
Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held pharmaceutical company singularly focused on the discovery and development of innovative cancer therapies that exploit the metabolic pathways that are common to different cancer types but different from normal cells and tissues. This unique approach, i.e. understanding and addressing what is similar to multiple cancer types rather than the differences between each, offers a significant opportunity to make a profound impact on the clinical treatment of a variety of cancers.
Cornerstone's Emulsiphan nanotechnology based lipid oil emulsion can be used to solubilize poorly soluble or difficult to formulate anti-cancer agents and promote extensive uptake into tumor cells selectively over healthy cells and tissues. Laboratory studies have shown an increase in tumor concentration over surrounding healthy cells and tissues to approximate 500-1000:1.
Source: Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals (press release)
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