FUJIFILM, Cangen Biotechnologies Joint Development Agreement on Anti-cancer Drug Delivery System

FUJIFILM recently announced an agreement with US-based bio-venture firm Cangen Biotechnologies to jointly develop a new type of anti-cancer Drug Delivery System -DDS - for head and neck cancer

TOKYO, Japan | May 28, 2007 |
FUJIFILM recently announced an agreement with US-based bio-venture firm Cangen Biotechnologies to jointly develop a new type of anti-cancer Drug Delivery System -DDS - for head and neck cancer. The new DDS utilizes recombinant human gelatin and controls the sustained release of anti-cancer drugs.

Recombinant human gelatin is a pure gelatin obtained by introducing genes of human gelatin into yeast through genetic engineering techniques and then cultivating the yeast cells and purifying the produced gelatin. FUJIFILM is developing technology to mass produce this gelatin.

With the bovine-derived gelatins previously used, there were lingering concerns about the transmission of animal infections such as BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or 'mad cow's disease' - to humans, whereas FUJIFILM's gelatin can be considered safe, with none of the concerns about infection that animal-derived gelatins have. In addition, since it displays low antigenicity in humans, it can also reduce the chance of causing anaphylactic shock.

The anti-cancer DDS currently being co-developed has the FUJIFILM-developed gelatin as a base material and applies unique FTD (Formulation, Targeting, Delivery) technology that was cultivated by FUJIFILM in the development of various products such as photographic film. By controlling the release of the anti-cancer drug, this technology enables the sustained effectiveness of the drug at a diseased site for a long period of time.

Specifically, using dispersion technology for poorly soluble drugs, nanoparticle formation technology and thin-film processing technology, existing anticancer drugs coated in gelatin that have been specially treated and made into the nanoparticle materials (anticancer drug-embedded gelatin) etc., are directly administered to the site of the head and neck cancer in the form of a cream or film sheet, and an appropriate amount of the drug is delivered in a sustained manner for the desired length of time.

Under the terms of the collaborative agreement, Cangen will first evaluate the function of the gelatin-based anticancer DDS and conduct pre-clinical trials in the US. FUJIFILM is also looking at undertaking clinical trials, and plans to offer the drug in future as an unprecedented terminal care treatment that inhibits the progression of cancer and reduces pain associated with cancer in terminal cancer patients.

Since those on the frontline of cancer therapies have long awaited this kind of terminal care treatment, FUJIFILM is hopeful that this DDS will be swiftly approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an orphan drug and fast track drug.

SOURCE: Fujifilm

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