7 October 2019

Scaling up and translating nanotherapy from pre-clinical work in small animal models to a clinical application is not trivial. An international team of researchers from the United States and Europe, including from the Radboudumc, published their results on translating a new nanoimmunotherapy in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Raphaël Duivenvoorden, theme Renal disorders, together with Willem Mulder (Eindhoven University of Technology and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York),  Tina Binderup (University of Copenhagen) and Sherrill Fay (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York) and their colleagues, developed a simvastatin-loaded high-density lipoprotein (S-HDL) – nanoparticle.

In a mouse model they showed that S-HDL nanoparticles inhibit inflammation in blood vessel walls, a process that drives atherosclerosis development. Subsequently they tested methods to scale up S-HDL nanoparticle production, a critical step needed for larger animal studies. Using advanced imaging techniques, they show that the scaled up nanoparticles exhibited anti-inflammatory effects in the blood vessels of atherosclerosis in rabbit and pig models, thereby reducing atherosclerosis.

This study highlights the challenges posed by scaling a nanotherapy for use in larger animal models and strategies to overcome these challenges. 

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