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Mixed-Ligand Targeting of a Nano-Pharmaceutical Against GBM Stem Cells

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Parabon NanoLabs, Inc.
11260 Roger Bacon Drive Suite 406 Reston, VA 20190-5203
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Mixed-Ligand Targeting of a Nano-Pharmaceutical Against GBM Stem Cells
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1U43CA156841-01A1
Award Amount: $174,766.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In this Phase I SBIR project, Parabon NanoLabs, Inc. (PNL) will produce a novel, nano- pharmaceutical compound that preferentially selects and destroys brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs) to aid the treatment of glioblastomamultiforme (GBM), one of the most lethal brain cancers. BTSCs in GBM have been identified as a highly tumorigenic cell subpopulation that promotes tumor angiogenesis and therapeutic resistance. For example, as few as 100 BTSCs can initiate tumor growth ina mouse model, whereas 1 million non-stem cells from the same tumor cannot. The inability to eliminate sufficient BTSCs with the current standard of care may account for the gt90% recurrence rate of GBM and its poor prognosis. Using Parabon's Essemblix Drug Development Platform, the lead compound and its experimental variants will be developed upon a proprietary molecular breadboard, called PNL24, that can be functionalized with different targeting ligands and cytotoxic payloads in plug and play fashion. These compounds will be used to test the hypothesis that mixed-ligand, low-affinity targeting can achieve superior BTSC targeting specificity versus single-ligand alternatives. To test BTSC specificity, three targeting compounds will be created by functionalizing PNL24 with one of two different targeting ligands and a combination of both. Dye-labeling of each compound will be used to test in vitro targeting specificity, measured via fluorescent confocal microscopy, against BTSC and normal human cell lines serving as controls, specifically, neural stem cells, neurons and astrocytes. The most selective of the three targeting structures (hypothetically the mix-ligand construct) wil be further functionalized with a diphtheria toxin derivative and the resulttested for efficacy against BTSC and safety against three normal cell lines via standard cytotoxicity assay. Finally, the anti-BTSC efficacy of this compound will be tested in a hBTSC intracranial xenograft mouse model via convection-enhanced delivery (CED). If found to be both safe and effective, this compound will be the lead compound for future studies in a subsequent Phase II project that examines systematic toxicity, PK and biodistribution in preparation for an eventual IND application. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This Phase I SBIR project will produce a novel nano-pharmaceutical compound that actively targets and destroys brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs) from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), one of the most lethal forms of brain cancer. Built usingthe Essemblix Drug Development Platform, which enables first-of-its-kind plug and play molecular engineering, an actively targeted nano-compound and experimental variants with different targeting components, will be produced. The compounds will be tested against representative cell lines and a mouse model to demonstrate selective targeting and destruction of BTSCs, and negligible toxicity to normal brain cells.

Principal Investigator:

Steven L. Armentrout

Business Contact:

Steven Armentrout
Small Business Information at Submission:


EIN/Tax ID: 126219462
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No