Monday, December 10, 2007

Nanodisc: Drug Development and Delivery

A finalist in the Venture Showcase Nanodisc, Inc. was presented by President and CEO Michael Artinger, Ph.D. Nanodiscs permit the functional solubilization of membrane-associated proteins as both drug targets and as drugs themselves. The proper packaging of membrane-associated proteins in Nanodiscs may result in better functionality of this class of protein-based drugs through improved folding, affinity, stability and reduced toxicity.

The primary focus of the Company is the development and commercialization of Nanodiscs as a delivery platform. Potential payloads include:

  • Membrane-associated proteins such as receptors
  • Small molecules (especially difficult to solubilize drugs)
  • Imaging agents
  • Nucleic acids (such as RNAi)
So what exactly is a Nanodisc? It is a proprietary nano-scale structure created using a process of self-assembly of a phospholipid bilayer disc surrounded by a patented, engineered membrane scaffold protein belt. Both the size and the chemical nature of Nanodiscs can be easily modified. Nanodiscs render amphipathic and hydrophobic molecules easily soluble, offering transformative innovations across a broad range of commercial applications in both in vivo delivery of therapeutics as well as for in vitro drug discovery. The potential of this technology has been demonstrated using a diverse assortment of molecular targets, therapeutic molecules and diagnostic agents.

Management has assembled a unique, proprietary Nanodisc platform for delivery, imaging, diagnostics, target discovery and validation, lead generation and optimization and is pursuing multiple high-value drug and vaccine delivery applications characterized by substantial unmet need and market opportunity with clinical entry of a first candidate anticipated in 2009 while continuing alliance development with "best-in-class" partners to advance their discovery assets. Early funding was secured through IllinoisVENTURES and the Illinois Emerging Technology Fund

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