A promising biotech company situated in the Biotechnology Commercialization Center of the Texas Medical Center recently announced key milestones in patenting its novel technology aimed at next-generation cancer treatment. Houston-based Ensysce Biosciences, a company working on using carbon nanotubes for cancer therapeutics, has announced that the U.S. Patent Office issued a Notice of Allowance for the company’s U.S. Patent Application No. 13/175,314: SINGLE-WALLED CARBON NANOTUBE/SIRNA COMPLEXES AND METHODS RELATED THERETO. Ensysce Biosciences’ application seeks to establish claims of the company’s innovative methods for delivering “single walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) complexes with siRNA for therapeutic applications.”
Akin to Dr. James Allison’s research into cancer immunotherapy at MD Anderson, Ensysce Biosciences’ use of carbon nanotubes in cancer therapy research and development is one of several examples of Texas biotech and life sciences leaders staking new claims into the vanguard of next-generation cancer treatment. Ensysce’s nanotube technologies, which were developed in large part from the efforts of late Rice University researcher and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Richard Smalley as well as from the University of Florida and Trinity College in Dublin, offer the ability to deliver “large biologically active agents through natural barriers within the body and readily into cells in a number of tissues that have previously been difficult to deliver to” through the use of nanotechnology.
The new patent that the company has applied for will allow Ensysce to extend and protect the intellectual property associated with the carbon non tube design, as well as add to the extensive package of patents for the use of SWCNT for therapeutic applications licensed to Ensysce worldwide.
Dr. Lynn Kirkpatrick, CEO of Ensysce, stated: “Our demonstration of SWCNT delivery of siRNA into tissues and specifically tumors in animal models has allowed us to begin moving this delivery platform into clinical development,” adding that, “We have optimized the formulation of our complexes and have begun studies to support our IND that will lead to a clinical trial in the next 12 to 15 months. This Notice of Allowance confirms the novelty of our approach and significantly enhances the scope of our protection.”
“siRNA has issues with adequate cellular delivery, yet is one of the most intriguing and promising approaches to cancer therapy today,” said Dr. Garth Powis, Director of the NCI Designated Sanford Burnham Cancer Center and member of the Ensysce Scientific Advisory Board. “Ensysce’s success in using carbon nanotubes to deliver these macromolecules providing biological activity in tumors is a major accomplishment.”
In addition to Ensysce Biosciences’ innovative work with nanotubes, Lon Wilson at Rice University and collaborators at University of Houston, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, and the Texas Heart Institute, reported back in September of 2013 on efforts they had made in combining bismuth and carbon nanotubes for the first time to achieve a more effective contrast in CT scan images.