Cerulean's Dynamic Tumor Targeting™ Platform creates NDCs that are designed to provide safer and more effective cancer treatments. We believe the NDCs concentrate their anti-cancer payloads inside tumors while sparing normal tissue because they are small enough to pass through the "leaky" vasculature present in tumors, but are too large to pass through the pores of healthy blood vessels. Once inside tumors, we believe the NDCs are actively taken up into tumor cells where they slowly release their anti-cancer payload, providing a durable inhibition of their targets. An NDC consists of an anti-cancer payload that is chemically conjugated to a polymer backbone with a linker.
NDCs are designed to target tumor cells while sparing normal tissue, providing patients with potentially safer and more effective cancer therapy.
NDCs Are Designed to Target Tumors
The NDCs are designed to take advantage of unique characteristics of tumor vasculature. With an aggressive rate of growth, tumors are in need of a constantly increasing supply of oxygen and therefore overexpress factors that cause blood vessels to grow. This results in a highly disorganized blood vasculature that surrounds tumors and is made up of immature blood vessels with large, "leaky" pores. NDCs can easily pass through these leaky pores; however, they are too large to pass through the small pores of most blood vessels found in normal tissue. In addition to the vasculature changes in the tumor microenvironment, tumor cells scavenge for building blocks of growth, including lipids and proteins, from their surrounding environment via process called macropinocytosis. Clinical data show that the NDCs are taken up inside tumor cells via macropinocytosis and subsequently release their payloads inside the tumor cells over an extended period of time. Cerulean's Dynamic Tumor Targeting™ Platform has generated a portfolio of NDCs with the goal of producing next-generation cancer therapies.
NDCs Are Designed to Spare Normal Tissue
Current cancer therapies' toxicities are commonly due to the exposure of normal tissue to highly toxic anti-cancer drugs. The NDCs appear to remain largely stable in the bloodstream, bypassing most normal tissue, until they concentrate in tumors.
NDCs Could Enable Combination Therapy
Cancer is a multi-faceted disease that is rarely adequately addressed by one therapy. The NDCs have the potential to enable synergistic combination therapies that were previously not possible due to side effects.