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NCI Awards SBIR Contract to Keystone Nano

Published on October 8, 2010 at 7:20 PM

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) an Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to Keystone Nano to develop nanoparticles containing both diagnostic and therapeutic compounds to enhance the treatment of cancer. This is the second SBIR award from the NCI to support the development of Keystone Nano’s NanoJacket technology.

NanoJackets are small (30nm), colloidally stable, bioresorbable and can encapsulate various chemical compounds inside the nanoparticle. Keystone Nano has encapsulated a variety of compounds, including fluorescent molecules and chemotherapeutic drugs, within NanoJackets. Biological testing of prototypes indicates that NanoJackets both protect and enhance the effectiveness of encapsulated compounds by delivering them directly to desired locations, such as tumor sites. The nanoparticles developed with this contract will contain an imaging agent as well as a therapeutic compound. The encapsulation of both compounds within each NanoJacket will allow the simultaneous imaging and treatment of tumors, giving physicians the ability to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment in real time.

Jeff Davidson, CEO of Keystone Nano notes “Keystone Nano looks forward to further developing the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of NanoJackets with the support of the NCI”.

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 1.5 million patients will be diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and over 550,000 will die of the disease this year. Improving the effectiveness of cancer therapies by employing sensible nanotechnology can save lives and improve the patient’s quality of life both during and after therapy.

Dr. Mylisa Parette, author of the grant and principal investigator, will lead the research and development efforts associated with this project, supported by KN’s development team in State College and Hershey.

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

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