For over 30 years, AstraZeneca has remained committed to pushing the boundaries of cancer research. Part of this work is done at our discovery research labs in Boston, Massachusetts and in collaboration with other researchers.
One of the challenges that cancer patients and their doctors face is that traditional cancer medicines often attack both tumors and healthy tissue indiscriminately. Our scientists are looking to develop targeted therapies that selectively kill cancerous cells, therefore shrink tumors, but spare normal tissue.
That’s why AstraZeneca has teamed up with Massachusetts-based BIND Therapeutics to develop novel nanomedicines. By combining AstraZeneca’s proprietary kinase inhibitors with BIND’s Nanoparticle platform (Accurins), we could develop nanomedicines that target cancer genes in tumors with better safety margins. This truly is cutting-edge technology. Targeted and safe therapies which specifically address the underlying mechanisms of disease are the future of personalised cancer treatment.
Emerging data suggests that Accurins work by circulating in the bloodstream until they get trapped in the tumor through gaps in tumor blood vessels. This ‘EPR’ effect should significantly increase both the drug concentration in the tumor tissue and the time the tumor cells are exposed to the drug. This hopefully can be achieved without causing additional toxicity to the body.
BIND was founded by two pioneers in the field of therapeutic targeted nanoparticles; Dr. Robert Langer, MIT, David H. Koch, Institute Professor, and Dr. Omid Farokhzad, Harvard Medical School Associate Professor. BIND is backed by leading investors including Polaris Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, NanoDimension, DHK Investments, EndeavourVision and Rusnano.
BIND’s President and CEO, Scott Minick, has told us,
Our collaboration with AstraZeneca is based on an earlier, successfully completed feasibility study and because of the advanced nature of this program, we plan to work expeditiously to move an Accurin with optimized therapeutic properties into product development.
Detlev also posted this article on the MassBioHQ blog, which you can see here.