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BF Alum Company, Keystone Nano, Receives NIH Grant

KN is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant to further develop its nanoparticles for the treatment of cancer. The National Cancer Institute, a part of the NIH, has awarded a grant to Keystone Nano to further develop our siRNA nanoparticle technology.

Most current chemotherapeutics have are not selective to cancer cells and have dose-­‐limiting toxicities that prevent optimal effects being obtained. Ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) has the potential to be a safe, selective and personalized treatment approached for a variety of genetic-­‐based diseases, including cancer. In particular, the design of small interfering RNA (siRNA) sequences to prevent the expression of cancer-­‐fueling mutations provides a dramatic alternative to current therapeutic approaches. However, an effective delivery vehicle is required for systemic RNAi therapy to protect siRNA during circulation, concentrate siRNA at tumor sites and mediate cellular uptake as well as endosomal escape. This NIH funded project is designed to optimize a novel, combinatorial RNAi treatment for advanced breast cancer based on delivery by calcium phosphate nanoparticles, called NanoJackets. Building on the demonstrated in vivo efficacy of Keystone Nano’s siRNA NanoJackets, an active targeting ligand will be added and evaluated for improved biodistribution, cellular uptake and in vivo efficacy of siRNA NanoJackets for breast cancer therapy. If successful, the development of this targeted, combinatorial RNAi nano-­‐therapeutic will provide a novel option for the personalized treatment of breast cancers that fail to respond to current therapies.

The project will be led by Dr. Mylisa Parette, Research Manager at Keystone Nano and Dr. Carly Carter, Research Team Leader at Keystone Nano. The project is supported by the company’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. James Adair, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mark Kester, and CEO, Mr. Jeff Davidson.

Based in State College, Keystone Nano is working at the interface between nanotechnology and the life sciences and has licensed intellectual property around nanoparticles from Penn State University. The company is working to commercialize NanoJacket products and Nanoliposomes for a variety of medical applications.

For more information about Keystone Nano, visit our website