Aphios Corporation Awarded SBIR Grant from NIH for Solvent-Free Protein Comminution
September 28, 1999
Woburn, MA — Aphios Corporation has been awarded a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant is entitled "Solvent-Free Protein Comminution."

Controlled release systems for drugs have received increased attention and application over the past decade, as they frequently provide a dosing regimen significantly superior to conventional techniques. By allowing a near-constant level of drug to be maintained within the patient, treatment efficacy can be greatly improved. Such controlled release formulations have the further advantages of decreased dosage frequency and patient discomfort, increased patient compliance, and the possibility of reducing the overall amount of drug administered.

In the formulation of controlled release therapeutics, it is frequently desirable to disperse the material into very fine, uniform particles. Such particles may then be advantageously incorporated into delivery vehicles such as polymeric microspheres or implantable devices, or delivered to the lungs as an aerosol. With proteinaceous therapeutics, the generation of such fine particles is particularly problematic.

Existing practices often have difficulty achieving the desired particle size distribution. Some of these practices expose the protein to denaturing conditions such as heat or air, or leave residual product contamination which necessitates further processing.

Aphios Corporation's protein comminution process avoids the aforementioned difficulties. Aphios' process utilizes nontoxic liquefied gases, compressed gases, or supercritical fluids (which have properties intermediate to gases and liquids) to form small (0.5 to 5 micron), monodisperse protein particles without first dissolving the material in a liquid solvent. The comminuted protein particles retain full activity and are devoid of residual processing chemicals such as solvents, salts, or surfactants.

Aphios' protein comminution process will benefit the pharmaceutical and biotech industries by yielding improved efficacy of therapeutic products with less residual contamination. The technique can also be useful in obtaining a desired particle size in drug manufacture, and may also prove useful in terms of controlled release formulations such as microspheres or aerosol delivery systems.

Aphios Corporation is a privately held research and development company developing research tools and industrial processes for the enhanced discovery, manufacturing, delivery and safety of naturally derived and genetically engineered therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases in a cost-effective manner. The Company is profiled in a recent interview on WallStreetInterview.com.