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Aug 6, 2012

PharmaEngine Nabs Rights to Nanoparticle Radiotherapy Booster

  • Taiwan’s PharmaEngine is paying French firm Nanobiotix $1 million up front for exclusive Asia-Pacific license to the latter’s lead radiotherapy enhancer NBTXR3, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase I trial in patients with soft-tissue sarcoma. The deal gives PharmaEngine exclusive rights to develop NBTXR3 in Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other Asia-Pacific territories. Nanobiotix could receive up to $56 million dependent on reaching specified development, regulatory, and sales milestones, plus sales royalties. The plan is to develop NBTXR3 as a medical device, rather than a drug, to allow faster development and progress through regulatory stages.

    NBTXR3 is a nanoparticle formulation of hafnium oxide crystals, used to enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy. The product has been classified in the EU as a class III medical device. Nanobiotix is a nanomedicine firm developing a pipeline of NanoXray products designed to boost the effects of radiotherapy by effectively increasing the effects of a given dose of radiotherapy on the tumor tissue, without impacting on healthy tissue. Lead product NBTXR3 is designed for intratumoral administration, but Nanobiotix is also developing hafnium oxide-based nanoparticles suitable for administration by other routes including intravenous injection or deposition onto a tumor.

    The firm is separately exploiting its nanoparticle expertise to develop magnetic nanoMag particles for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, and a nanoPDT photodynamic therapy for cancer therapy.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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