EGEN is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute'sNanotechnology 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, is part of the NCI Alliance for nanotechnology in cancer, and a partnership between NCI, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the FDA. 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.
"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,” said Dr. Jason Fewell, vice president of preclinical research and development for EGEN.