JUL 22, 2015 12:02 AM PDT

Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier

WRITTEN BY: Ilene Schneider
Treating an aggressive brain tumor may have come one step closer to reality recently as a company developing a novel therapy got a grant.

Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC), whose ) mission is to find a cure for brain cancer and brain tumors by advancing scientific research, increasing awareness, creating a brain cancer and tumor community, and supporting patients, their families and caregivers, awarded a grant to Lauren Sciences LLC, the private New York biotechnology company developing breakthrough V-Smart™ Nanomedicines for brain diseases. The funding will support the development of a V-Smart™ for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. The V-Smart™ technology was invented at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beersheva, Israel, where the Lauren Sciences' research team and laboratories are located, as explained by a press release from the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University.

According to Irwin Hollander, Ph.D., vice president for research and development at Lauren Sciences, "V-Smart™ for GBM, formulated with a potent anti-tumor agent, has promise as an effective new treatment for GBM patients. Our goal for this new V-Smart™ drug is to stop progression of, or eradicate, GBM, unlike standard treatments that in the vast majority of patients merely delay disease progression. We anticipate future efficacy studies of V-Smart™ in GBM pre-clinical models and, thereafter, clinical studies in patients. Our goal is clinical validation and approval of this V-Smart™ for GBM."
The blood brain barrier keeps vital medicine from crossing into the brain. Nanotechnology can solve the problem.
The technology is designed to "target and deliver a known chemotherapeutic that has proven potential to treat the brain tumor, but does not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) on its own," according to the press release. It is designed for non-invasive and effective targeting and delivery of therapeutics across the BBB and into selective brain cells both non-invasively and effectively.

Lauren Sciences is developing V-Smart™ Nanomedicines for brain diseases, including CNS, neurodegenerative and rare/orphan brain diseases, such as GBM, NPC, ALS, Neuro-AIDS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and LSDs, among others, as well as neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. While some therapeutic agents have the potential to treat or cure these diseases, the medicines have not been able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). V-Smart™ Nanomedicines encapsulate therapeutic agents, cross the BBB, target and deliver to sites in the brain, selectively release at target sites and are administered systemically.

According to the Society for Neuroscience, "The brain is the only organ known to have its own security system, a network of blood vessels that allows the entry of essential nutrients while blocking other substances. Unfortunately, this barrier is so effective at protecting against the passage of foreign substances that it often prevents life-saving drugs from being able to repair the injured or diseased brain. New studies are guiding researchers toward creative ways to open this barrier and ‘trick' it into allowing medicines to enter."
About the Author
Ilene Schneider is the owner of Schneider the Writer, a firm that provides communications for health care, high technology and service enterprises. Her specialties include public relations, media relations, advertising, journalistic writing, editing, grant writing and corporate creativity consulting services. Prior to starting her own business in 1985, Ilene was editor of the Cleveland edition of TV Guide, associate editor of School Product News (Penton Publishing) and senior public relations representative at Beckman Instruments, Inc. She was profiled in a book, How to Open and Operate a Home-Based Writing Business and listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Advertising and Who's Who in Media and Communications. She was the recipient of the Women in Communications, Inc. Clarion Award in advertising. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Ilene and her family have lived in Irvine, California, since 1978.
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