EGEN, Inc. Collaborates With Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory on Brain Cancer Therapy
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- EGEN, Inc. is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory in Frederick, Md., to accelerate human clinical testing of a nanotechnology-based gene therapy for brain cancer.
EGEN's candidate gene therapy -- which relies on nanoparticles for effective delivery to the tumor site -- is already being evaluated in Phase I and II clinical trials in patients with colorectal and ovarian cancers. EGEN is seeking to begin Phase I trials against glioblastoma, a brain cancer that is difficult to treat.
The NCI's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, operated under contract by SAIC-Frederick Inc., is part of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, and a partnership between NCI, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Food and Drug Administration. The laboratory evaluates nanoparticles for their physical and chemical properties and for their behavior in laboratory and animal models -- all prerequisite to human testing in medical procedures.
"We are very pleased to be able to utilize the resources of the NCL for advancing our novel IL-12 gene therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma," said Dr. Jason Fewell, Vice President of Preclinical Research and Development for EGEN, Inc. "By working with NCL we are hopeful that we can quickly advance this treatment strategy into additional cancer indications, including brain tumors, where we believe that it may offer significant therapeutic benefit."
The collaboration is part of an intensive effort by NCI to accelerate new technologies and treatments for people living with cancer and AIDS. The Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative responds to a number of national studies, including a Government Accountability Office report citing barriers to the translation of new discoveries into effective clinical products. The report called for better collaboration among government, industry, and academia.