Platform directly delivers biodegradable paclitaxel-loaded particles to arterial walls.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia spin-out Vascular Magnetics raised $7 million in a Series A fundraising round with Devon Park Bioventures, to advance its magnetically targeted nanoparticle therapy for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Initial clinical trials in adult patients are projected to start in 2014.

Established in 2010, Vascular Magnetics is developing a drug delivery system that combines biodegradeable drug-loaded magnetic particles with a magnetic targeting catheter and magnetic field device. The system is designed to guide and deliver the nanoparticles directly to arterial walls, where they are deposited and slowly degrade, releasing their paclitaxel cargo to prevent re-obstruction.

The developers, headed by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Robert J. Levy, M.D., believe the vascular magnetic intervention approach can more effectively deliver therapeutic doses of drugs than standard drug-eluting stents. The technology can be exploited to deliver antirestenotic drugs in parallel with the implantation of a new stent, or to treat a re-obstructed stent, or as a standalone procedure to treat occluded arteries that don’t requirie stents.

The platform could in addition be adapted for the delivery of other drugs, therapeutic genes, or cells, for treating coronary arteries or addressing heart defects or primary pulmonary hypertension in pediatric patients. Vascular Magnetics suggests it is also feasible to modify the technology for delivering chemotherapy directly to tumors, or drugs to the bile duct or urinary tract. 

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