Navigation Links
Polymer platform technology innovates drug delivery

(Edmonton) A University of Alberta researcher is thinking small to find innovative ways to improve the delivery of drugs that can be more easily administered with fewer side-effects.

Afsaneh Lavasanifar, a professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, has developed and patented a polymer platform technology that can carry drugs to specific areas of the body at a nanoscopic scale. The polymeric nanostructures contain an outer shell and inner core that are capable of encapsulating drugs that the body normally has a hard time absorbing and processing.

"Making drugs water soluble is a major problem in drug development," Lavasanifar says. "When drugs are not water soluble, they cannot be absorbed efficiently by the body or administered efficiently, making them ineffective."

Lavasanifar developed the polymer over three years and published her initial findings in 2006. With support from TEC Edmonton, in 2010 she launched her own company, Meros Polymers, and currently serves as vice-president and chief science officer.

The company secured a U.S. patent for the polymer late last year, with patents pending in Europe and Japan, and was recently named a semifinalist in the fast-growth category of the TEC VenturePrize.

Targeted drug delivery

In addition to solving water insolubility, the polymer could be used to target delivery of drugs in specific areas of the body. Much of Lavasanifar's research has focused on the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs, some of which can be harmful to organs such as the heart or kidneys.

"We can change the normal distribution of the anti-cancer drug in the body and get the drug into the tumour and away from the site where it causes toxicity," she says.

A polymer within this platform that shows unique thermo-reactive propertiesit's liquid at room temperature but turns into a gel when warmed to body temperaturehas potential applications for eye-drop drugs, antibiotics or antipsychoticsreducing the need for repeat doses or costly administration by a health professional.

A third structure within this family also has potential as a delivery system for small interfering RNA technology, or siRNA, which allows scientists to heat and silence specific genes in a cell. The siRNA technology has not yet been used as a therapeutic agent because it breaks down in the body and has a hard time entering cells.

Lavasanifar is working with other researchers on using the polymer to deliver siRNA in lab models. "Our long-term plan is to see if we can get it into clinical trials and use it for siRNA delivery in humans," she says.

Meros is working with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures to evaluate the toxicity of the polymer, a step needed for regulatory approval. Lavasanifar is confident about the results, noting the "backbone" of the polymer has been used in absorbable sutures for many years.

Moving from lab bench to boardroom was a new experience for Lavasanifar, but she credits TEC Edmonton and her colleagues at Meros for providing invaluable expertise, especially early on. The university and pharmacy faculty have been tremendously supportive of her work, she adds.

"Without the U of A's support and funding from granting agencies, I would not be able to put my ideas into action."


Contact: Bryan Alary
University of Alberta

Related medicine news :

1. New electrically-conductive polymer nanoparticles can generate heat to kill colorectal cancer cells
2. Singular polymer, multiple functions
3. Top Miami Online Marketing Company OptFirst To Launch A New Online Marketing Platform
4. Tea Leaves Health Deploys NewestMovers™ Data in All Client Strategic Growth Platforms
5. Snow Creek Medical Center Adopts the HIPAA One Platform to Complete Their HIPAA Security Requirements and Protect Their Patients’ Information
6. The Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge Is Predicted to be The #1 Weight Loss and Fitness Platform in the UK as ViSalus Launches in the European Market
7. ReviMedia Commercially Launches Lead Exchange Platform LXP
8. Service Delivery Platform (SDP) Market is Growing at a CAGR of 9.15% & to Reach $6.94 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets
9. Leverages Online Learning Technology to Provide the Most Powerful Team Education Platform
10. SocialWellth Launches Consumer mHealth Open Network Platform
11. Connect the Doc Launches Real Patient Reviews to their Online Appointment Booking Platform in Vancouver, BC
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... first commercially-available next-generation sequencing laboratory test for bacterial vaginosis- a significant women's ... in Vancouver, BC, Canada. , In a presentation entitled: "The Microbiome ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Career Step, ... the release of its new Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS ... ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code sets, earn the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... According to an article from ... particularly in the area of track and field, are at a significantly higher ... peers in the same age group. Dr. Steven Meier of Meier Orthopedic Sports ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... According to an article published by Texas ... Texas recommended that any high-rises in the city limits that do not have fire ... article explains that it wasn’t until 1982 that the city started requiring fire sprinklers ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... AcousticSheep LLC, creators of the ... honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October, for ... SleepPhones® Classic product to a breast cancer patient at the Cleveland Clinic. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Use this report to: - Learn ... the medical membrane devices market. - Analyze the present ... medical membrane devices market including hemodialyzers, membrane oxygenators, intravenous ... devices. - Gain information on newly approved products, recalls ... Use this report to: - Learn about the performance, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... and CRANBURY, N.J. , Oct. ... LLP announces that a securities fraud class ... for the District of New Jersey.  The complaint alleges ... FOLD) violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between ... materially false and misleading statements about Amicus Therapeutics, business ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  MiMedx Group, Inc. ... utilizing human amniotic tissue and patent-protected processes to develop ... Care, Surgical, Orthopedic, Spine, Sports Medicine, Ophthalmic, and the ... results for the third quarter of 2015, its guidance ... Company has secured a $50 million Senior Secured Credit ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: