Aphios to Develop Camposomes to Support NCI Nanotechnology Alliance
February 01, 2011

Woburn, MA — Aphios® Corporation today announced that it has entered into a subcontract with SAIC-Frederick, a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation, to develop phospholipid nanoencapsulated camptothecin, Camposomes™, for the treatment of pancreatic and other cancers, supporting the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer in conjunction with the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis is examining the potential of nanotechnology to bring a wider range of chemotherapeutic drugs into potential usefulness as anti-cancer agents. The purpose of this subcontract is to evaluate the potential of Aphios' enabling nanotechnologies to improve the bioavailability, solubility, pharmacokinetics, or therapeutic index of a range of drugs that would otherwise fail as anti-cancer agents.

Aphios has utilized its patented SuperFluids™ CFN technologies to develop nanosomal formulations of paclitaxel (Taxosomes™), camptothecin (Camposomes™) and other poorly water-soluble therapeutics. Camptothecin is an anticancer alkaloid that was originally isolated from the bark and stem wood of Camptotheca acuminata, a small tree native to China. This compound displays unprecedented anticancer activities against leukemia, human colon cancer and a variety of solid tumor systems. Camptothecin full therapeutic activity has been limited by poor water solubility and the aqueous instability of the lactone ring moiety. Ring opening causes loss of biological activity of this compound. Nanosome encapsulated camptothecin can serve as a useful drug delivery system for solubilizing camptothecin, while retaining both its lactone ring and antitumor activity. With the NCI, we conducted in vivo testing of Camposomes™ in mice implanted with lymphoma xenografts and given intravenous treatment. Several mice were found to be tumor-free (cured) after 69 days with no drug-related deaths. Further research will be carried out in this contract to examine formulation, dilution, dosage and treatment schedule. We anticipate that, with further research, Camposomes™ will improve the efficacy, reduce the toxicity, and improve the solubility and stability of this unique topoisomerase I inhibitor and anticancer drug for pancreatic and other cancers.

Aphios® is a green biotechnology company developing enabling technology platforms for improved drug discovery and manufacturing, nanotechnology drug delivery and pathogenic drug safety. Based on these platforms, we are developing enhanced therapeutic products for health maintenance, disease prevention and the treatment of certain cancers, infectious diseases and Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders.

This project is 100% supported with federal funds provided by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN261200800001E. The content of this press release does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.