|Category||Life Sciences and Biotechnology|
|Keywords||embolization, cancer, drug delivery, slow-release, siRNA delivery|
|Current development stage||For Pharmaceutical development: TRL4 – PoC&Safety of candidate device or system is demonstrated in a defined lab or animal model|
Liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The most common treatment strategy for an intermediate and advanced stage of unresectable tumors is trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE), in which an interventional radiologist introduces a catheter into the liver arteries to deliver the particles and occlude blood supply while eluting drugs, resulting in ischemic tumo necrosis.
However, current embolic devices have major disadvantages in terms of their capacity to elute drugs efficiently and antagonize hypoxic conditions. Unfortunately, with the current solutions, patients suffer from high recurrent of the disease and resistance to therapy. This emphasizes the need for a novel and biocompatible, multifunctional embolic agent which can deliver anticancer drugs more efficiently to the occluded tissue.
In this invention, we developed unique porous microspheres (spheres in the size of dozens to hundreds of microns) that can occlude blood vessels that nourish tumors while releasing drugs in slow release. The invention takes advantage of the porous micro-structure ability to block blood vessels in a gradual manner while allowing blood flow for efficient drug absorption in the tissue, prior to occlusion. This can dramatically improve current embolization procedures.
Prof. Benny’s lab demonstrated a newly developed method to fabricate porous microspheres via a microfluidic device that offers a new platform for generating reproducible microspheres, characterized by a controlled and narrow size distribution, with defined physicochemical properties, characterized by high precision and high drug content. They have managed to fabricate these particles combined with two different drugs that showed synergistic combination therapy (in-vivo).
Advantages of porous microspheres:
- Biocompatible and biodegradable
- Easy to use and inject due to great buoyancy and flow-through microcatheter properties
- Large surface area – higher drug loading
- The porous structure allows higher drug release rates compared to non-porous
- Porous microspheres are more elastic and deformable preferred for chemoembolization to be able to block small/distal blood vessels
- Ability to adsorb other drug formulations (for imaging, siRNA, drug NP’s) – to achieve synergistic effects (during/after fabrication)
The porous microstructure that was developed in Prof. Benny’s lab can gradually block capillaries while still allowing blood flow. This invention may be used for:
Drug elution into tissue in a slow-release manner – a new concept for stent-like bead which is designed as an injectable device that can “block” a capillary or a medium-size blood vessel and slowly releases the drug into the tissue. The device may be used in cancer or other diseases.
A gradual embolism allowing for reduced tissue stress – a new idea for the embolization process based on the insertion of a porous ball, which embeds a combination of one or two drugs (cytotoxic and/or anti-angiogenic). The perforated ball slows down the blood flow, allowing a gradual release of the drugs into the tumor bed. The goal of this method is to reduce the stress of tumor blockage as achieved during embolic procedures.
The synthesis of polymeric drug microspheres is a central challenge in the development of new drug delivery systems, especially for injectable products. The present technology suggests novel and tightly controlled embolic beads that gradually reduce blood perfusion (minimizing normal tissue stress) to the tumor environment while eluting embedded cytotoxic/anti-angiogenic drugs in a sustained manner. This new concept allows gradual embolism for maximal drug elution and minimal tissue stress.