Genisphere will partner with the University of Maryland to study the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of various designs and formulations after in vivo administration of its 3DNA® targeted drug delivery platform.

The value was not disclosed for the collaborative and sponsored research agreement, reached through Silvia Muro, Ph.D., associate professor at the University’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research.

Dr. Muro specializes in cellular and subcellular interactions and transport, as well as in vivo targeting, pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and effects of drugs and drug delivery vehicles. She first showed that Genisphere's DNA-based nanodevices could be modified to induce specific uptake mechanisms for intracellular delivery of diverse compounds.

Her demonstration of 3DNA as a drug delivery nanocarrier was validated in a follow-up study published in 2014.

“We have previous evidence of active targeting of 3DNA after intravenous injection. The goal now is to expand our in vivo studies to additional animal models, evaluate different-sized 3DNA molecules, study the impact of targeting, and compare routes of administration,” Dr. Muro said in a statement.

“We are looking forward to learning more about these nanoreagents and how they interact with cells as they deliver their cargo. Our early focus on pharmacokinetics and biodistribution will drive how the unique properties of this DNA nanoscaffold may be utilized to effectively reach diseased cells and cross the blood-brain barrier,” Dr. Muro added.

Genisphere said its 3DNA collaboration with the University was also aimed at targeting diseases of the vasculature as well as inflammatory responses, showing various methods of endocytosis via appropriate targeting moieties, and studying the mode and mechanism of 3DNA crossing the blood–brain barrier.

“We want to build on the foundation of knowledge we have accumulated over the last few years integrating Dr. Muro's experience with 3DNA nanocarriers as well as her broad expertise in the targeted delivery and nanotechnology fields,” added Genisphere CSO Robert C. Getts, Ph.D. “The publications we expect from this partnership will be fundamental, and will also provide specific guidance for future applications as we build our drug pipeline in cardiovascular disease, oncology and neurotherapeutics.”

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