Through our proprietary thermosensitive liposomal (TSL) delivery technology, biocompatible drug-loaded nanocarriers – so-called Thermosomes – can be created which release their content upon the influence of mild heat. After being intravenously administered into the blood stream, our Thermosomes safely shield the encapsulated drug at normal body temperature (around 37°C) and thereby prevent an unwanted drug-target interaction with healthy tissue. The drug load is rapidly released from Thermosomes locally within the blood stream once they circulate through mildly heated target tissue (heated to non-harming temperatures of 40-42°C). Temperature elevation is achieved by various clinically established heating techniques used for the focused application of mild heat, such as microwave or ultrasound. Different to traditional drug delivery systems, where the accumulation of the carrier system itself in the tumor tissue is a prerequisite for its functionality, the drugs from our nanocarrier are released while the vehicles are still in blood circulation. The underlying mechanism of action of TSLs (such as Thermosomes) is called intravascular drug release and was first published by Manzoor, Lindner et al. in Cancer Research in 2012.
A delivery strategy exploiting the intravascular drug release for 10 to 15 fold higher local drug concentrations
As our Thermosomes rapidly release their encapsulated drug intravenously, our technology avoids the rate-limiting steps of current advanced delivery techniques:
- Thermosomes do not depend on passive targeting through accumulation (exploiting the EPR effect) as they are actively targeted through an external and steerable heating device that mildly heats tissue.
- Thermosomes release their drug load within the blood stream, thereby instantly making the drug load fully bioavailable.
The very high local drug concentration in the blood stream creates a concentration gradient between the blood stream and the surrounding tissue, facilitating drug accumulation within the target tissue.
As a result, our Thermosomes can achieve the following key advantages vs. current advanced delivery technologies and systemic administration of drugs:
- 10-15x higher local drug concentration in target tissue (at same dosage)
- Increased penetration depth in target tissue to also reach less perfused areas
- Less systemic drug exposure (due to localized treatment) and thereby lowering systemic side effects
- Potentially lower overall dosage of a single treatment (e.g., to enable long-term treatment with highly toxic agents that have a maximum cumulative tolerable doses)