2008-042 – Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Enhanced Drug Delivery to the Lung

Background More than 35 million Americans havechronic lung diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), Chronic Obstructive PulmonaryDisease (COPD), cystic fibrosis (CF), and lung cancer. Lung diseases such asthese are the number three killer in the United States responsible for 1 in 7deaths every year. These diseases are so devastating and lethal becausebiological barriers produced within the patients’ bodies make the diseases verydifficult to treat. Over the past 30 years there has been significant improvement for many lungdiseases due in part to inhalation aerosols for drug delivery. However, theeffectiveness of inhaled therapies is significantly reduced when biologicalbarriers such as mucus, biogel, andbiofilm are present. When gene and therapeutic treatments are administered inthe presence of biological barriers, the drugs are often incapable of quicklypenetrating and diffusing across the barriers to the target cells. Due to thisinefficiency, therapeutics often degrade or metabolize before they are active,which ultimately results in ineffective treatments. Enhancing the transport of genes and drugs is now realized as a critical stepfor improving therapy for lung diseases. For the delivery of genes andtherapeutics to be effective, the barriers covering the target cells must beovercome. With our current technology, the facilitation of nanoparticles withtherapeutic and gene agents may allow greater efficiency of treatments forpatients with lung diseases due to enhanced penetration and diffusion throughmucus and other barriers. Technology Description This novel technology involves the use of active multifunctional nanoparticles specifically designed to overcome barriers in the delivery of therapeutics to the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis, COPD, and other lung diseases. The technology utilizes nanoparticle systems that have already obtained FDA approval for other applications. The transport of drugs within the airways is improved using this technology. These drugs (existing therapies, or NCEs), can be directly associated with the nanoparticle system or administered separately. Additionally, Dr. Hugh Smyth was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to continue the research. He was awarded $2.1 million over a four-year period. Gregg Banninger GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu 505-272-7908

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