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GEN News Highlights : Dec 22, 2009

Aura to Use CRT's Cancer-Targeting Peptides for Delivery

Aura will combine CRT’s peptides with its NanoSmart drug delivery technology.

Cancer Research Technology (CRT) granted Aura Biosciences a worldwide license to use its cancer-targeting peptides for the delivery of treatments directly to the tumor site. The tumor-targeting peptides bind to the tumor cell complex surface integrin αγβ6. CRT suggests the technology could have particular benefit in targeting pancreatic cancer, which expresses high levels of integrin αγβ6.

Aura’s deal with CRT follows on from an integrin αγβ6 evaluation agreement signed between the organizations in March. Under the terms of the new agreement, Aura will pay an up-front fee to CRT and future development milestones as well as sales royalties. The company will exclusively fund the integrin αγβ6 development work and retains sublicensing rights on agreed terms.

“This partnership with CRT enables us to make use of their peptide technology as a way to deliver our innovative Nanosmart™ treatment particles, which are hollow particles made of nano-sized protein shells, to the tumor with increased accuracy,” remarks Elisabet de los Pinos, Ph.D., Aura’s CEO.

Aura Biosciences’ Nanosmart particles are designed to bind with high specificity to receptors expressed only on target cells. The technology is being developed to address both the delivery of chemotherapeutics and RNAi molecules.