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