Innovative Anti-tumor Nanomedicine Realizes Market Application


(Correspondent: Cui Qingxin) Platinum drugs, represented by cisplatin and oxaliplatin, have potent broad-spectrum anti-cancer activity and exert anti-tumor effects by destroying the DNA of tumor cells, inhibiting tumor cell replication, and inducing tumor cell apoptosis. Currently, they have been widely used in the clinical treatment of malignant tumors, such as colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. However, these drugs lack selectivity for tumor tissues, which often leads to serious side effects, such as nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and bone marrow suppression, and can easily cause intrinsic and acquired drug resistance after administration, thus seriously limiting their efficacy and safety in clinical application. Therefore, it is urgent to develop novel platinum drugs that can reduce toxic and side effects and overcome drug resistance in tumor treatment.

Based on the design concept of "toxicity reducing and efficacy enhancing", Professor Shi Kai's team at the College of Pharmacy, Nankai University, first designed and synthesized a novel peptide-based platinum prodrug (Peplatin) by introducing functional peptide-based ligands into the parent nuclei of divalent platinum drugs. The novel preplatin is capable of the self-assembly of an 80- to 15-nm carrier-free nanostructure in physiological media and the rapid release of the active platinum parent nuclei in the tumor microenvironment. It exhibits exact pharmacological effects and has less risk and higher success rate in clinical trials than similar novel innovative drugs.

In August this year, a cooperation agreement on the achievement transformation for the innovative anti-tumor nanomedicine "Nano-cisplatin" was reached with a Tianjin innovative drug R&D company, marking the successful transformation of the achievement from college to enterprise. It officially enters a new stage of innovative drug R&D for market application and clinical use. The transfer is a specific case of the College of Pharmacy promoting the scientific achievement transformation through exhibition. In October 2022, under the leadership of the Science and Technology Department, Nankai University and with the help of other colleges, the College of Pharmacy organized a one-month exhibition for the transformation of Nankai University’s biomedical science and technology achievements at Tianjin Scientific and Technological Achievements Exhibition and Trading Operation Center. The innovative nano-cisplatin, as one of the achievements of the exhibition, was commercialized after multiple communications, and the video presenting the achievement was recorded for the High Technology Transformation Forum for targeted promotion to the industry and investors, leading to the successful cooperation with a leading Chinese innovative drug enterprise in the field by the signing of a technical contract.

The successful transformation of the project outcome has greatly enhanced the confidence of the faculty of the College of Pharmacy to promote transformation through innovation. The College of Pharmacy will continue to adhere to interdisciplinary integration, guide teachers and students to actively dovetail their work with the development needs of major national strategies, and deeply integrate scientific research achievements with industry focus. More papers and patents created by China's own scholars will get through the "last mile" of the integrated development of enterprises, universities, research institutes, and end-users.