January 2021. While systemic immuno-oncology therapies have shown remarkable success, only a limited subset of patients benefit from them. Our Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC™) Platform is a click chemistry-based approach that activates cancer drugs at a specific tumor with minimal systemic toxicity. CAPAC Platform is agnostic to tumor characteristics that can vary across patients and hence applicable to several types of tumors.

January 2021. A desired goal of targeted cancer treatments is to achieve high tumor specificity with minimal side effects. Despite recent advances, this remains difficult to achieve in practice as most approaches rely on biomarkers or physiological differences between malignant and healthy tissue, and thus benefit only a subset of patients in need of treatment. To address this unmet need, we introduced a Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC) platform that enables targeted activation of drugs at a specific site in the body, i.e., a tumor. In vitro evaluation of cytotoxicity, solubility, stability and activation rendered the protodrug of doxorubicin, SQP33, as the most promising candidate for in vivo studies. Studies in rodents show that a single injection of the tetrazine-modified biopolymer, SQL70, efficiently captures SQP33 protodrug doses given at 10.8-times the maximum tolerated dose of conventional doxorubicin with greatly reduced systemic toxicity.

July 2016. The ability to activate drugs only at desired locations avoiding systemic immunosuppression and other dose limiting toxicities is highly desirable. Here we present a new approach, named local drug activation, that uses bioorthogonal chemistry to concentrate and activate systemic small molecules at a location of choice. This method is independent of endogenous cellular or environmental markers and only depends on the presence of a preimplanted biomaterial near a desired site (e.g., tumor). We demonstrate the clear therapeutic benefit with minimal side effects of this approach in mice over systemic therapy using a doxorubicin pro-drug against xenograft tumors of a type of soft tissue sarcoma (HT1080).

August 2014. Specific and targeted delivery of medical therapies continues to be a challenge for the optimal treatment of multiple medical conditions. Technological advances permit physicians to target most sites of the body. However, after the intervention, physicians rely on systemic medications that need frequent dosing and may have noxious side effects. A novel system combining the temporal flexibility of systemic drug delivery and the spatial control of injectable biomaterials would improve the spatiotemporal control of medical therapies. Here we present an implantable biomaterial that harnesses in vivo click chemistry to enhance the delivery of suitable small molecules by an order of magnitude. This is the first step towards the construction of a biomaterial that enhances the spatial location of systemic small molecules via in vivo chemical delivery.