Nanocarrier development to treat inflammatory bowel disease in the works

April 12, 2011
A nanocarrier-based approach involving optical fluorescence to improve inflammatory bowel disease treatment is in the works by CEA-Leti and seven partners in France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.

A nanocarrier-based approach involving optical fluorescence to improve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment is in the works by CEA-Leti (Grenoble, France) and seven partners in France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. The Delivering Nano-pharmaceuticals through Biological Barriers project (BIBA) led by CEA-Leti is a part of its research program on organic nanocarriers and delivery systems for clinical applications like molecular imaging and drug delivery.

The three-year study is designed to develop an anti-inflammatory corticoid and/or an immunosuppressant encapsulated within a biodegradable nanocarrier for improved treatment of IBD and reduced side effects. Industry supervision of the preclinical proof of concept will enhance quality control to guarantee a faster regulatory application after the project.

Because the required doses of steroids cannot be administered long-time due to adverse events, BIBA will investigate local delivery of encapsulated corticosteroids and immunosuppressants using two types of organic biodegradable nanocarriers to prevent side effects. Passive targeting of nano-delivery systems in inflamed tissues exploiting the so-called enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect is expected to increase the local concentration of corticoids in inflamed areas.

One model of corticoid, budesonide, and one model of immunosuppressant, cyclosporine, will be separately encapsulated in three dosage forms—oral, colonic, and intravenous—to maximize the delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs through the gastrointestinal tract, with two nanocarriers: lipid “baby bubbles” (Lipidots) and polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) particles. In-vitro experiments will be performed on a lab model of healthy and pathological epithelium to screen the most relevant nano-pharmaceuticals.

Formulations will then be evaluated in-vivo in appropriate rodent colitis models. Animal models allow both the examination of inflammatory processes (both early and late events) as well as the evaluation of new therapeutic modalities. Then, optical fluorescence and noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in combination with histological analysis will be used to monitor the effect of the therapy on the inflamed mucosa.

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Posted by Lee Mather

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