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BIND Therapeutics describes itself as bringing nanotechnology to cancer therapy, but with its new achievement a more colloquial description might be apt: The Cambridge-based biotech could help bring failed cancer drugs back from the dead — and all because of clever molecular packaging.
In a study reported in Science Translational Medicine, scientists from BIND joined forces with a team from AstraZeneca to take a cancer drug the British pharmaceutical company had essentially abandoned, encase it in a molecular cage called a nanoparticle, and give it to lab rodents implanted with human cancers. Compared to the uncaged drug, the nano-enclosed version was more effective and less toxic.
Countless cancer drugs have succeeded in lab rodents only to fail in people, so it’s premature to expect the nano-caged drug to work in patients as effectively and safely as it did in rats and mice. Only large human studies will show that. But the results, submitted to the journal last August, were encouraging enough that in October AstraZeneca launched a clinical trial of the caged drug, recruiting patients with advanced solid tumors at sites in Colorado, Florida, and Tennessee.
Read full, original post: Nano-caging gives a failed cancer drug new life