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Local biotech firm, UCLA partner on cancer treatment

NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals' goal is to improve a patented drug delivery system

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: January 16, 2013 03:45 PM

Laguna Hills-based private biotech firm NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with University of California, Los Angeles. The partnership with the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA will enable NanoSmart to pursue further development of its patented drug delivery platform.

Dr. James Smith, president of NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals, said the company is very excited to be working with UCLA and Dr. Noah Federman, the director of the Pediatric Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program at UCLA, who will lead UCLA’s participation in the partnership. Dr. Smith said the collaboration with Dr. Federman and his colleagues will create access to an “extraordinary level of research, development and clinical resources.”

"Their expertise in the development of nanotechnology-based drugs will enable us to continue making efficient progress towards commercializing these products," Smith said.

NanoSmart’s drug product provides a way to target drugs to specific areas, such as the vulnerable parts of a cancerous tumor. The method utilizes a patient’s own autoimmune antibodies by combining them in the lab with different cancer drugs. According to the company, by localizing cancer drugs to the tumor site, the delivery system will make treatments safer and more effective.

"Despite the extensive research into new drug formulations, the pace of advancing benefit to this patient population is unfortunately slowing," said Dr. Federman, who is also an assistant professor of Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA. "We are pleased to collaborate with NanoSmart to help drive the development of these much-needed products."

When combined with FDA-approved cancer drugs, NanoSmart’s platform creates a variety of new, more effective cancer treatment products, providing physicians with new options in their medical care.

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