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Nanoparticle-Peptide Research

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    Posted: Aug 25 2016 at 10:37pm
We should keep an eye on this research.

A UCF College of Medicine cancer researcher has discovered a way to kill spreading breast cancer cells and her new technology has generated a licensing agreement that will accelerate the therapyís path to clinical trials.

Metastatic cancer cells that spread from the original tumor to the brain, lungs and bones are the leading cause of death for most cancer patients, said Dr. Annette Khaled, the researcher who made the discovery. Her work is featured in the September edition of Clinical Cancer Research.

In the study, she details how the peptide CT20, which she discovered in 2012, kills fleeing cells. It disrupts the folding mechanism inside cancer cells mediated by a chaperonin. If the inner workings of the cell canít fold into 3D units, the cell dies.

Metastatic breast cancer cells have especially high levels of the chaperonin; the higher the levels, the sicker the patient. By discovering how the peptide inhibits the chaperoninís folding ability, Dr. Khaled said scientists can develop multiple therapies for fighting metastatic cancer. An advantage of the peptide is that the amounts that kill cancer cells do not kill healthy, non-cancer cells. That means using the CT20 peptide may have less traumatic side effects of most chemotherapies. As part of her research, Dr. J. Manuel Perez, a former UCF researcher who specializes in chemistry and nanotechnology, developed nanoparticles to transport the peptide specifically to metastatic cancer cells.

The next step in the research is to put the therapy into preclinical testing and clinical trials.

Thatís where SEVA Therapeutics Inc., a Massachusetts-based pre-clinical biotechnology company, comes in. It has now licensed the nanoparticle-peptide technology for the purposes of future research that ultimately could lead to new therapies. The nanoparticle-peptide combo, now called SEVA-108, is expected to undergo a comprehensive safety evaluation by the end of this year.

If successful, clinical testing in patients would start as early as the fourth quarter of 2017.

http://med.ucf.edu/news/2016/08/ucf-technology-for-killing-metastatic-breast-cancer-cells-discovered-licensed

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