Hatfield’s Genisphere Partners with Lankenau to Find New Approach to Treating Ovarian Cancer

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Photo courtesy of Genisphere.

Scientists at Genisphere, a biotech company in Hatfield, have partnered with a group of peers at Main Line Health’s Lankenau Institute for Medical Research to develop a potentially new approach to treating ovarian cancer, writes John George of the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecologic cancer in the United States, according to the PBJ. The American Cancer Society estimates 22,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually, and about 14,000 women a year die of the disease.

The research team has published a study detailing its treatment technique that involves the systemic administration of a therapeutic molecule that targets a reduction of a specific protein in ovarian tumors but leaves healthy cells alone.

According to George, targeting ovarian tumors was accomplished by using a unique nanocarrier bound to a molecule that directs uptake of a therapeutic to tumor cells.

The LIMR team partnered with Genisphere to use its DNA nanocarrier platform technology, called 3DNA for the delivery of the molecule designed to suppress a protein called HuR.

Genisphere’s 3DNA drug delivery technology features a nanoscale, scaffold made from proprietary, synthetic DNA formed in a flexible, branched structure.

“We have shown that suppression of HuR, a master regulator of hundreds of genes, disrupts multiple essential cellular molecular pathways needed by ovarian tumor cells to survive — a finding that sets this therapeutic approach apart from other therapies that target a single gene,” Janet Sawicki, a professor and deputy director at LIMR, told George. “This work takes a significant step forward in the field of cancer siRNA therapeutics and advances the potential use of 3DNA technology in the clinic.”

Click here to read more about Genisphere.

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