Evaluation of antibody targeted controlled release nanoparticle systems

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Pharmacy


The overarching objective of this proposal is the pilot evaluation of a novel antibody-drug
delivery technology, developed by the academic partner (Bioconjug Chem. 2008:19(8):1561-
9; Pharm Res. 2008:25(1):135-46), using novel therapeutic antibodies that have been
developed by the industrial partner. Pursuance of this objective will provide the following:
1. Development of the Research Fellow?s research expertise, management and leadership
2. Development of new patent applications around the data produced
3. Technical and commercial evaluation of a new therapeutic approach by the partners
4. Development of a portfolio of data to facilitate future project grant application funding to
agencies such as the MRC
This project builds on the established links between the industrial and academic partners.
These groups have successfully collaborated in the past, producing joint IP, publications in
quality journals (Clinical Cancer Research, Bioconjugate Chemistry and PlosONE), and
ultimately creating jobs and wealth in the local economy. A previous collaboration, focussed
on the transfer of a protein engineering technology from the School of Pharmacy (through a
KTP scheme; awarded A in final report; regional winner 2008), led to the development of a
new bovine TB diagnostic kit by the company, which is currently undergoing evaluation in the
UK and Ireland.
In this current project, the academic partner has developed a novel nanoparticulate drug
delivery system and has already been provided with commercially insensitive antibodies to
test as a proof of principle in vitro by the industrial partner. This project will build on this
base, examining commercially prioritised antibodies (produced using the platform
technologies underpinning the company) in relevant in vivo primary and metastatic tumour
We believe that this programme is an ideal mechanism to fund this pilot project, as it not only
provides the scope to undertake the project, but allows the Fellow to learn and champion the
technology, thus developing their own CV, and provides a framework for further funding
opportunities from the MRC such as the DPFS

Technical Summary

This exchange programme will focus on the development of the Fellow?s expertise in

the development and evaluation of nanoparticulate systems as anti-cancer

therapeutics. This project will not only provide the fellow with various aspects of

research leadership training, but also facilitate the development of a new research

collaboration between the academic and industrial partners; bringing together their

respective skills in nanoparticulate drug systems and therapeutic antibody

development in a pilot study to examine their application using in vivo tumour


This project will bring together the independent research strengths of both

partners, and provide the necessary funding to pursue the evaluation of antibodydirected

nanoparticulate conjugates as anti-cancer drugs, both in terms of

therapeutic effect and toxicity. For the academic partner, this represents a valuable

opportunity to develop a new therapeutic strategy with an industrial partner, who is

focussed on antibody therapeutics. The industrial partner has developed a portfolio

of antibodies towards targets up-regulated on the surface of tumour cells post front

line chemotherapy treatment, and is keen to examine their application in these

nanoparticulate systems ? in both a therapeutic and drug delivery vector capacity.

The academic and industrial partners have collaborated previously, and technology

transfer have been previously undertaken through the Knowledge Transfer

Partnership (KTP). These previous projects have had success outcomes, including

the co-development of a novel antibody therapeutic (Fsn0503) which is now poised

to undergo phase 1 clinical trials. This new project builds on these previous

successful relationships which will form a solid basis in terms of working practises,

route to IP establishment and licensing as required.


10 25 50
Description Trustee of the new British Society of Nanomedicine
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The mission of the British Society of Nanomedicine to to educate scientists and general public on the role of nano medicine in health and to remove some of the misconceptions that arise in public perception. The Society represents the national body of nano medicine in the UK, is associated with its European partners to strive in the improvement of health using nanotechnology
URL http://www.britishsocietynanomedicine.org
Description Confidence in Concept
Amount £88,000 (GBP)
Funding ID na 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2013 
End 08/2014
Description Fusion Antibodies Ltd. Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £235,000 (GBP)
Organisation Knowledge Transfer Partnerships 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2020
Description Proof of Concept
Amount £128,000 (GBP)
Funding ID poc338 
Organisation Invest Northern Ireland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2014
Title new PEGylated polymer 
Description This new PEGylated polymer has been developed in house that facilitates the surface attachment of antibodies onto particles for in vivo experiments 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This polymer will allow us to analyse the ability of antibodies to not only target tumours in vivo, but also elicit receptor activation 
Description Elasmogen visit 
Organisation Elasmogen Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Peter went to work with the company for several days and is currently examining the application of their technology with our own nanoparticle systems
Collaborator Contribution supply of antibody like domains
Impact none yet
Start Year 2016
Description Immunocore 
Organisation Immunocore Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution On the basis of previous work that we have undertaken as part of our MRC funded projects, we have been able now to secure a MRC CASE studentship with this SME to evaluate their targeting technologies with our nanotechnologies
Collaborator Contribution Expertise and knowhow in nanotechnology
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary project bringing together expertise in immunotherapy and drug formulation. No outputs to report at this time
Start Year 2014
Description Visit to Buffalo laboratory 
Organisation University at Buffalo
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supply of nanoparticles for evaluation purposes and visit to laboratory for training
Collaborator Contribution conducted experimentations for us using their pancreatic cancer models
Impact Studies completed and more being planned
Start Year 2016
Description Debating Matters, Northern Ireland 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Acted as judge for the session of three schhools - approx 20 pupils and teachers

Have been asked to take part in a RCUK-led schools teacher training event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.debatingmatters.com/events/qr/northern_ireland_south_2013_14/
Description Presentation at Belfast Philosophical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talked to general public about our work in pancreatic cancer, leading to new debate and interest in the research at QUB
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 30 puils who are interested in undertaking careers with biology background in a career session

invited to take part in session again
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013
Description School visit, Armagh 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 30 pupils (6th formers) attended hte workshop to discuss what ressearch is undertaken in school of pharmacy, QUB and what different career aspirations one can have if they do pharmacy at univeristy beyond practising professionally as clinical or community pharmacists

Larger intake of students from that school for the degree
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011
Description Science Open Week presentations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Demonstrating to the audience the critical need for drug formulation in the development of more effective cancer medicines
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017