EBI Operating, a subsidiary of Ensysce Biosciences, is focused on the use of carbon nanotubes for the delivery of novel therapeutics specifically large biomolecules. The company's extensive carbon nanotube-related, worldwide intellectual property portfolio includes discoveries by the late Nobel Prize winner, Dr Rick Smalley. The use of carbon nanotubes has the goal of solving two important problems for many cancer therapeutics, that of delivering large active agents into the desired location and of protecting normal tissue from the active agent during delivery.
SIngle Walled Carbon Nanotubes
The Holy Grail in cancer therapy is to deliver high doses of drug molecules to tumor sites for maximum treatment efficacy while minimizing side effects to normal organs. Through the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, nanostructured materials upon systemic injection can accumulate in tumor tissues by escaping through the tumor blood vessels, making them useful for drug delivery applications. As a unique material, SWCNT can effectively shuttle various bio-molecules into cells including drugs, peptides, proteins, immunotherapies, via processes of nanospearing and endocytosis.
The ultra-high surface area of these macromolecules allows for efficient loading of chemotherapy drugs. We have investigated the in vivo behavior of SWCNTS in animals. Tumor accumulation of SWCNT functionalized with siRNA drugs have shown high efficacy. These results set a foundation for Ensysce to apply single walled carbon nanotubes to the delivery of numerous therapeutic applications.
SWCNT have been shown to have low toxicity and be efficacious in animal studies. They pass through membranes, carrying therapeutic payloads into the cell to targets previously unreachable by conventional drug delivery systems.
The Advantages We Have Observed with SWCNT
- Narrow Diameter - Ease of cell membrane penetration
- Readily Escapes - Endosomal capture
- Stablizes and Protects - Drug payload in the circulation
- Transport & Payload - Rapidly releases in cell ensuring gene target inhibition
- Large Surface Area - To attach large macromolecules such as DNA & RNA or proteins
Single walled carbon nanotube can be used for delivery of nucleic acids for gene therapy and has the ability to overcome the problems by other viral and non-viral platforms. SWCNT are able to readily transport gene therapy into primary human cells such as white blood cells therefore can replace viral vectors
EBI is conducting research on the use of carbon nanotubes for the delivery of oligonucleotides and large biomolecules to progress the technology through preclinical development, by collaborating with research programs at major medical centers, universities and pharm companies.
EBI is looking to accelerate these research programs through outside collaborations, as an avenue to move this novel delivery platform rapidly into the clinic.