Nanocopoeia Licenses New Polymer-Based Biomaterials Platform From the University of Western Ontario

Friday, June 27, 2008 General News
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ST. PAUL, Minn. and LONDON, Ontario, June 26 Following thelaunch at BIO International in San Diego last week of NanoInterventions, theircardiovascular joint venture partnership, Nanocopoeia and WORLDiscoveries(TM)are pleased to announce their broader agreement to co-develop the biomedicaluses of arborescent polyisobutylene-based block copolymers. Nanocopoeia, adrug delivery company specializing in therapeutic coatings for medicaldevices, will lead the development effort and WORLDiscoveries(TM) willparticipate as a partner in the market-targeted applications. The agreementincludes an exclusive world-wide license, for all biomedical fields of use,for the polymer system that is the subject of US Patent No. 6,747,098 (2004)and nine other international issued patents.

Arborescent polyisobutylene-based block copolymers are branched polymerswith unique properties for biomedical use. A major market opportunity istheir use as a drug-eluting coating for medical devices such as coronarystents. When applied using Nanocopoeia's proprietary ElectroNanospray(TM)process, the polymer provides a highly controllable matrix for drug deliveryand has excellent physical properties. For other applications, such as tissueimplants, this family of polymers has many attributes in common with siliconematerials but without the need of the additional chemicals that are requiredto formulate silicone-based devices.

Judit E. Puskas, PhD, P.Eng, led the team at Western that invented thefamily of polymers based on arborescent polyisobutylene. She held theBayer/NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada)Industrial Research Chair at Western between 1998 and 2003, and is nowProfessor of Polymer Science at The University of Akron in Ohio. Dr. Puskascommented, "This polymer system has enormous flexibility in the way it can beapplied, while remaining totally stable. That, together with the favorablebiocompatibility profile of its building blocks, makes it an ideal interfacewith body tissues." Dr. Puskas will participate in the joint developmentprogram.

Nanocopoeia's drug delivery and coating technology uses the proprietaryElectroNanospray(TM) process to apply nanoparticle-based coatings. The uniqueprocess, which originated at the University of Minnesota, generatesnanoparticles made of drugs and polymers and assembles them into films withcontrollable delivery.

The National Science Foundation's research funding has played an importantrole in launching the collaboration. The commercial development ofNanocopoeia's ElectroNanospray(TM) technology for biomedical applications hasbeen supported through multiple SBIR Phase II and supplemental awards from theNSF Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. In the course of thatresearch, the Company's search for novel coating polymer systems led them toDr. Puskas, resulting in the ongoing productive collaboration. Dr. Puskas'research is supported by the NSF Division of Materials Research.

Nanocopoeia's CEO, Robert A. Hoerr, MD, PhD, said, "Based on our successin working with this polymer system, we believe it will have applicability fora broad range of biomedical uses." He further commented that a first use ofthe polymer has been as a prototype drug-eluting stent coating based onarborescent polyisobutylene-block-polystyrene (abbreviated arbIBS) used by thejoint venture NanoInterventions for its Mouse Stent Model. He continued,"Given the strong interest that NanoInterventions' Mouse Stent Model generatedat BIO, we believe the polymer will be a key element in helping us to definenext generation of stent-delivered therapies."

NanoInterventions is a joint venture partnership that is launching thefirst rapid screening model for new coronary stent coatings, using agenetically modified mouse strain with human-like atherosclerosis, a mini-stent, and experimental coatings on the stent.

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