John Garner

PLGA-PEG-NHS from PolySciTech used to generate peptide-functionalized nanoparticles in development of breast-cancer therapy

Blog Post created by John Garner on Oct 18, 2017

Jayoung, 2017 antiangiogenesis asclepix polyscitech PLGA nanoparticles.JPG

One of the requirements for cancer growth is increased blood-flow to the region where cancer affects the body. Most cancers induce angiogenesis, an excessive increase in the growth of blood-vessels in the region immediately surrounding the cancer, as a means to support their excessive growth. One strategy to eliminate cancer is to prevent angiogenesis, thus cutting off cancer from its supply of nutrients and oxygen which starves the tumor to death. There are several agents which can do this, but it is critical to control the exact targeting as prevention of growth of blood-vessels throughout the rest of the body can lead to toxic side-effects. Recently, researchers from AsclepiX Therapeutics and Johns Hopkins University utilized PLGA-PEG-NHS from PolySciTech ( (PolyVivo AI111) to create nanoparticles with a biomimetic targeting moiety to improve nanoparticle targeting and tumor uptake for improved delivery of a novel anti-angiogenic peptide. These particles were found to preferentially bind to cancer, even to aggressive triple-negative breast cancer, and reduce available blood-flow to these tumors in an animal model. This research holds promise to provide for improved therapy of breast cancer. Read more: Kim, Jayoung, Eric Bressler, Ron Shmueli, Adam Mirando, Niranjan Pandey, Aleksander S. Popel, and Jordan J. Green. "Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles targeted by a novel biomimetic peptide to human breast cancer."


  “Progression of tumor requires angiogenesis in order to achieve the increased need for oxygen and nutrients. Anti-angiogenesis is a widely investigated approach to prevent tumor growth (Bhise NS.Expert Opin Drug Deliv 2011; 8(4): 485-504). We have discovered a biomimetic peptide that shows potent anti-angiogenic activity in vitro and in vivo (Karagiannis ED.PNAS 2008; 105(37): 13775-13780). Nanoparticle (NP) formulations can be used for efficient systemic delivery and controlled release of such peptides at the target site to significantly enhance bioavailability while minimizing side effects. However, unmodified or poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG)-coated polymeric NPs can suffer from a high rate of clearance and a low level of tumor accumulation (Wilhelm S. Nat. Rev. Mater. 2016; 1: 1-12). To overcome these limitations, we have designed a targeted poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) NP with a biomimetic peptide as a novel targeting agent. In this study, we test PLGA NPs coated and loaded with peptide for the dual functionality of actively targeting human breast cancer and inducing anti-angiogenesis.”