NCI and Cornerstone Collaborate to Apply Emulsiphan Nanoemulsion to Anticancer Agents

Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the private pharmaceutical company focused on therapies exploiting distinctive cancer cell metabolism announced that it has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with the United States National Cancer Institute ("NCI").

Emulsiphan drug delivery technology

This collaboration calls for Cornerstone to apply its proprietary Emulsiphan cancer selective delivery nanotechnology platform to a class of agents developed at the NCI's Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program.  These agents developed within the laboratory of renowned biologist Dr. Robert Blumenthal, can be turned into toxic compounds by targeted radiation and ultrasound.  Cornerstone and NCI will evaluate the potential of these combined technologies in reducing tumors.

Cornerstone has been able to formulate multiple types of anti-cancer compounds in Emulsiphan, its novel lipid oil nanoemulsion.  Emulsiphan is designed to maximize drug concentration into tumor cells thereby enhancing the anti-cancer compound's selectivity and specificity, leading to a potentially safer and more effective cancer treatment. This is of particular importance for those tumors that may be located in a site not accessible to surgical intervention. Examples include, but are not limited to, tumors of the brain, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Dr. Yossef Raviv in Dr. Blumenthal's laboratory at the NCI discovered that a class of agents may become toxic when delivered to cancer cells and activated by an external energy source.  The NCI and Cornerstone have agreed to collaborate to evaluate the combination of these agents with Emulsiphan.

"This is an important step forward towards achieving the dream of safe and effective cancer therapy for the most difficult to treat cancer types," remarked Dr. Robert Shorr, Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals' Chief Executive Officer. "We are very excited to work with the NCI and look forward to progressing from studies in cell tumor models to actual human clinical studies."

Many approved drugs as well as newer cancer selective agents in use or in development today are difficult to solubilize and rely on diffusion after intravenous or oral administration to reach tumor cells.  Often drugs may be metabolized and cleared from the body prior to reaching their target and as cells are distal from a tumor's vasculature, it is more difficult for a drug to reach a sufficient concentration to be useful.  While technology continues to be evaluated for increasing the concentration of drugs in a tumor mass, some of these may actually inhibit the uptake of a drug into tumor cells.  Cornerstone's Emulsiphan drug delivery technology aims to overcome these challenges so that increasing the required effective dose doesn't deliver treatment at the expense of risking a patient's safety.


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