Dynamically Tumor-targeted Nanopharmaceuticals: the Next Chapter in the Fight Against Cancer
It has been more than 40 years since cancer prevention and treatment initiatives were placed atop the national agenda with the signing of the National Cancer Act and the creation of the National Cancer Institute. Since that time, extensive research and development has led to significant medical breakthroughs for a number of different types of cancer. However, in many other cancer types—such as ovarian cancer—survival rates remain alarmingly low.
Personalized medicines have proven the value of tumor-targeting, and have laid a strong foundation for the next chapter in the fight against cancer. We believe that so-called ‘smart bombs’ such as antibody-drug conjugates (commonly referred to as ADCs) and nanopharmaceuticals, both of which deliver potent anti-cancer payloads to tumors while sparing healthy tissue could be the next chapter in the fight against cancer because they may provide patients with hope for longer overall survival and better quality of life, especially when used in combination.
In pre-clinical and clinical studies of our lead product candidate, CRLX101, adverse events observed to date generally have been low grade and manageable. CRLX101 should therefore be readily combinable with other cancer therapies, including ‘personalized medicines.’ These advantages should allow physicians to treat patients with drug cocktails that are more effective and less susceptible to drug resistance than monotherapies. Cocktails of highly potent and tolerable cancer drugs could turn cancer into a manageable chronic disease in much the same way that modern science produced drug cocktails that have turned HIV from a universally fatal disease into a manageable chronic disease.