New Jersey Patent of the Month – October 2023

Elucida Oncology, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the next frontier in targeted cancer therapy has recently been granted a patent for their nanoparticle drug compositions. Their innovative approach involves the use of a first-in-class, ultra-small nanoparticle C’Dot drug conjugate (CDC) platform. Their CDCs are designed to penetrate deeper into tumors for a more effective treatment protocol.

Cancer therapy has long faced significant challenges. Traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy, lack the precision needed for targeted drug delivery, often causing harm to healthy tissues, leading to undesirable side effects. Elucida Oncology’s approach is aimed at addressing these challenges and unlocking new possibilities for cancer treatment.

Elucida Oncology’s recently patented nanoparticle drugs are designed to target folate receptors in order to be highly effective and minimally invasive. These compositions consist of several crucial components:

  1. Silica Nanoparticles: These nanoparticles have diameters ranging from 1 to 10 nanometers, allowing them to penetrate deeply into tumor tissues.
  2. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): PEG is covalently bonded to the surface of the nanoparticle. This coating helps improve the stability and effectiveness of NDCs.
  3. Targeting Ligands: These targeting ligands, such as folic acid, can selectively bind to folate receptors on cancer cells. This ensures that the drugs are delivered precisely to the cancer cells, with minimal impact on healthy tissues.
  4. Linker-Payload Conjugate: The core therapeutic agent, exatecan, is attached to the nanoparticle through a linker-payload conjugate. This linker is protease-cleavable, which means that the payload (exatecan) is released upon cleavage of the linker, ensuring effective drug delivery.
  5. Fluorescent Compounds: Some CDC compositions may also incorporate fluorescent compounds, such as Cy5 dye, covalently encapsulated within the nanoparticle. This aids in tracking and monitoring the CDCs within the body.

Elucida Oncology’s proprietary nanoparticle drugs create greater precision and efficiency. Precision targeting is achieved by binding to folate receptors, ensuring that therapeutic agents are delivered directly to the site of the disease. Despite their tiny size, the CDCs offer a substantial surface area for drug attachment, resulting in a high drug-to-carrier ratio and potent drug delivery. The deep penetration means the treatment can reach cancer cells throughout an entire tumor mass with reduced impact on healthy tissues. Combining precise targeting, high drug capacity, and deep penetration into tumors results in significantly improved therapeutic outcomes for cancer patients.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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