ProNaCell@Life Science Inkubator
Dr Alexander Glassmann, Dr Nadine Temme
Innovation & Business Idea
The active and targeted transport of effective therapeutics to their specific point of action in patients without losing efficacy or causing undesirable or even detrimental side effects remains a tremendous challenge. The applicability of potentially effective therapeutics is limited due to either instability (DNA, RNA, other biological molecules) or toxicity (chemotherapeutics). Current drug delivery systems such as chemical defined nanoparticles or antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) can only partially address the issues. A drug delivery platform that provides protection of the active drug, an active transport to target cells and a controlled release within cells will meet the needs of innovative, personalized therapy. The ProNaCell-team developed an innovative drug delivery platform on the basis of evolutionary optimized, bio-compatible protein nanoparticles (EPN) that allow the encapsulation of a broad spectrum of active therapeutic compounds. Furthermore, target specific addressing of the protein nanoparticles is achieved by designing the nanoparticle shell in a biomarker driven way with molecular genetic methods.
Partnering with the pharma industry focusing on cancer and orphan diseases with developed drugs which are problematic in delivery due to the toxic side effects or inefficiency. ProNaCell itself develops nucleic acid based combination drugs in 5 selected indications.
Competitive technologies are chemical nanoparticles with disadvantages in toxicity and often leakage effects as well as antibody-drug conjugates which are highly specific but require covalent linkage of drugs with the antibody.
Intellectual Property Status
The underlying use of polyomavirus capsid proteins is protected by a set of patents with a right of use for ProNaCell.
Patent applications for the methods of specific targeting of the protein nanoparticles and the improved drug encapsulation and delivery have been filed in 2014.
Development Status & Future Steps
ProNaCell developed the EPN at the Life Science Inkubator in a BMBF supported project. ProNaCell demonstrated in the Proof-of-Concept with targeted delivery in vivo and accumulation of specific protein nanoparticles in a breast cancer tumor model. In a clinically relevant ex vivo breast cancer model, the EPN drug delivery was around 20-fold faster than comparable drug delivery systems.
After clinical Phase II, the combined therapeutics developed by ProNaCell will be out-licensed or sold for completion of clinical development.
The founders Dr Alexander Glassmann and Dr Sebastian Franken developed the highly innovative targeting and delivery technology starting from the original work on JC-virus derived nanoparticles over the last years at the Life Science Inkubator in Bonn. Dr Glassmann will act as Chief Scientific Officer.
Dr Nadine Temme as key scientist of the team over the last three years has long-lasting experience in the field of polyoma viruses beginning from her diploma thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr Lüke in Göttingen. As Head of Discovery, Dr Temme will bring her expertise especially in the further optimization of the encapsulation and targeted delivery of active therapeutics by the protein nanoparticles.
Required capital for the first two years, including the above mentioned activities, will be 3.9 mEUR. Governmental funding is not yet considered in the plan but will be sought and shall extend the reach. The Life Science Inkubator is committed to invest in ProNaCell through its LSI Pre-Seed Fund.