Developing a complex nanoparticle system containing targeted therapies for human cancers

A complex targeted "nanoparticle within nanoparticle" system for multi-component drug delivery to provide a new chemotherapeutic modality for patients with locally advanced, metastatic or chemoresistant cancers. 


  • targeted delivery
  • lack of systemic toxicity
  • increased stability and efficacy
  • can incorporate as many as four different drugs
  • additional incorporation of fluorescent or MRI probes for imaging.


Recent evidence shows that nanoformulations provide significant advantage to cancer molecular therapies and chemotherapies allowing improvement in drug delivery and imaging. This is particularly true for docetaxel and paclitaxel where nanoformulations outperform systemic therapies. Abraxane, an albumin simple nanoparticle bound paclitaxel is currently licensed for use in breast, lung and pancreatic cancers.

There is significant time-dependent uptake of these nanoparticles by breast and prostate cancer cells, with a sequential release of targeted therapy and chemotherapy, inducing a loss of cancer cell viability more potently than by free drugs. Synthesised nanoparticles were tested in mice demonstrating a similar efficacy as combined systemic therapies, but with preferential tumour targeting. This correlated to a significant reduction in chemotherapy-induced: weight loss, lymphopenia, anaemia and liver damage.

This innovation offers many advantages over previously developed nanoparticle therapies and can incorporate different drugs and labelling probes into the structure.


Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 5901(2017). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06142-x


UK patent application GB 1621692.1.

Principal Investigator

Team led by Dr Dmitry Pshezhetskiy

Further Details

For more information on this licensing opportunity, please contact the IP Office.