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Company Announces Exciting Preclinical Results Using Patented Nanotechnology to Fight Tumors

Published on May 18, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Nanobiotix, an emerging nanomedicine company, announced today exciting preclinical results using its patented nanoXray therapeutics platform to fight tumors. The preclinical study, performed at Institut Gustave Roussy, one of Europe's leading cancer treatment centers, showed that an intratumoral injection of NBTXR3 nanoparticles and activated via standard radiation therapy led to complete tumor regression in mice at 60 days, compared to zero tumor regression in mice treated with xray only or NBTXR3 only. The study was led by principal investigator Jean Bourhis, M.D., Ph.D., a prominent radiation oncologist and researcher at Institut Gustave Roussy.

Nanobiotix is using technology that it calls 'nanoXray therapeutics' to resolve radiation therapy's biggest drawback: destruction of healthy tissue and its subsequent deleterious side effects when a high dose of xray is necessary. The Company believes that nanoXray therapeutics offer a dramatic innovation in cancer therapy, based on a technology that is designed to allow destruction of cancer cells only--a new treatment weapon that could be used alone, or in concert with existing anticancer protocols: chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy. Because NBTXR3 is comprised of crystalline nanoparticles, it does not have deleterious effects on healthy cells, unlike chemotherapy or other systemic anticancer agents.

"Our nanotechnology is designed to allow for the precise destruction of cancer cells via the controlled application of an outside-the-body energy source--in this case, an xray. We are extremely excited by these preclinical results, which demonstrate the novel therapeutic effect of nanoparticles on human tumor models," said Laurent Levy, Ph.D., President and CEO of Nanobiotix and Co-President of the French Technology Platform on Nanotechnology (FTPN).

"It is very important to note that after 120 days of this study, 90 percent of the mice treated with NBTXR3 nanoparticles activated by radiotherapy were still alive, whereas all of the mice in the other two groups had to be sacrificed after 60 days due to tumor progression," added Elsa Borghi, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Nanobiotix.

One in four deaths in the United States is from cancer, making it the second-leading cause of death after heart attack. Radiation therapy--also called radiotherapy, xray, or irradiation--is typically used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy injures or destroys cells in the area being treated by damaging their genetic material, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide. The goal of radiation therapy is to damage as many cancer cells as possible, while limiting harm to nearby healthy tissue. About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy, which may be used alone or in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery. Radiation therapy may be used to treat almost every type of solid tumor.

Through experiments on resistant and radiosensitive tumor models, NBTXR3 activated by xray has shown its strong ability to reduce the clonogenic activity of cancer cells. In vivo models have demonstrated the same type of improvement, up to tumor elimination, when radiotherapy alone could show only five-day tumor growth delay. In several models including an HCT116 colon cancer tumor and an HT1080 fibrosarcoma tumor, NBTXR3 has strongly impaired tumor growth and improved Overall Survival (OS). The study showed a statistically significant tumor regression and a prolongation of survival in NBTXR3-treated mice when irradiated both with one dose of 8 Gy or two doses of 4 Gy. This is an important parameter since radiation therapy is delivered in fractions to cancer patients.

Similar results were also obtained with Swiss nude mice bearing sarcoma tumors, in spite of the fact that these are known to be resistant to radiotherapy. Other studies in non-epithelial cancer models demonstrated comparable survival improvements as well. Compatibility with different energy sources has also been demonstrated, proving that NBTXR3 could be easily used with the different radiotherapy equipment presently on the market.

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