Development of Water-Soluble Nano-Polymers for Targeted Delivery of Anticancer Drugs

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals today announced that it has been awarded a grant through the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS). With the grant, researchers at Rexahn and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Center for Nanomedicine & Cellular Delivery (CNCD), will jointly pursue the development of water-soluble nano-polymers for targeted delivery of anticancer drugs.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative treatments for cancer, central nervous system disorders and other unmet medical needs, was selected by The Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program for a grant totaling $215,408. The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program is designed to accelerate the commercialization of technology in Maryland by jointly funding collaborative R&D projects between companies and University System of Maryland faculty. Rexahn also received a MIPS grant in 2005 to discover cancer drug candidates using cutting-edge NMR technology. Its 2005 MIPS project was successfully completed.

Of Rexahn's selection for a MIPS grant, Martha Connolly, Director of MIPS, explained, "Rexahn's technology has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment," She continued, "This project demonstrates how teaming university researchers with Maryland companies can help bring much-needed products to market and improve the lives of many."

Rexahn is one of 16 companies to receive this latest round of MIPS funding and is the only research project focused on nano-drug delivery solutions. By using water soluble nano-polymer based drug delivery systems, Rexahn believes that it can significantly benefit cancer patients by enhancing the safety profile of chemotherapeutics.

Rexahn's Chairman and CEO, Dr. Chang Ahn, noted, "Our unique approach to improving quality of patients' lives is to deliver targeted therapeutics with fewer toxic side effects than traditional treatments. Current treatments for cancer are highly toxic and lethal, to a certain degree. Through this grant and the partnership with UMB, we hope to address patients' continued need for less toxic, targeted cancer therapy. "

Last year, Rexahn and the UMB's Center for Nanomedicine and Cellular Delivery also entered into a unique collaboration aimed at finding novel ways of applying the Center's research and nanomedicine expertise to improve the pharmaceutical properties of Rexahn's drugs in development.

"We are thrilled to have this partnership with Rexahn," said Dr. Hamid Ghandehari, Director of CNCD at UMB. "It only makes sense to partner with Maryland companies such as Rexahn to develop novel delivery strategies for drugs that would otherwise have toxic side effects," added Dr. Anjan Nan, a member of CNCD, who spearheads the academic work of the MIPS project.

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