Venture Profile: NanoVector

NanoVector is an early stage therapeutic drug company commercializing a nanoparticle targeted drug delivery system developed at North Carolina State University (NCSU).

President: A. Bender, PhD
Location: North Carolina, USA
Industry: Pharma & Biotech
Venture is: Seed Level

Company overview courtesy of NanoVector

Effective targeting of chemotherapy is highly sought after. Targeting the nucleus is the only way to kill cancer stem cells which are responsible for new tumor formation. NanoVector’s technology will be used to develop a family of targeted delivery cancer drugs for the $20B/yr North America breast and colon/rectal cancer markets.

The NanoVector technology has been under development for more than 7 years using a variety of nanoparticles. A recent breakthrough-using a naturally occurring plant virus nanoparticle-has demonstrated effective targeting and delivery of a payload. The new nanoparticle is unique in that it has a chamber than can be opened and filled with a wide variety of therapeutic agents and then closed. In addition, a patented two stage targeting system has been developed which delivers the nanoparticle first into the cancer cell (stage 1) and secondly into the nucleus of a cancer cell (stage 2) where the mechanism of action of therapeutic drugs take place. After arrival of the plant virus nanoparticle in the cell, the chemical environment of the cell triggers the automatic release of the payload. This release, however, is delayed sufficiently to enable the nanoparticle to target and enter the cell nucleus before depositing its payload. All of the key characteristics of the drug delivery system have been demonstrated in vitro.

NanoVector cryoimage

Cryo-image of plant virus Nanoparticle. The image on left is the 37NM nanoparticle icosahedran. The middle picture shows the internal scaffold. The right image shows the nanoparticle in its open state that allows for the loading and unloading of chemotherapy agents.thru 60 11-13 angstrom holes. Image provided by NanoVector.

Albert Bender, CEO of NanoVector, said, “We are currently in the process of raising a $600,000 seed round of financing from Angel investors. This financing will enable us to complete our first targeted cancer drug formulation and in-vitro and in-vivo confidence testing. Our plan calls for the raise of a second round at the end of 2009 to fund the pre-clinical trail, submittal of IND and phase 1 clinical trial.”

NanoVector is looking for partners for joint development of targeted RNAi therapeutics. The company believes they have the optimum drug delivery platform to target oligonucleotides for RNAi, gene splicing, and microRNA.

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