SEP 16, 2015 12:00 PM PDT

Developing Accurate Nanomedicines: The BIND Therapeutics Approach

  • Chief Medical Officer, BIND Therapeutics
      Hagop Youssoufian, M.Sc., M.D., has served as BIND Therapeutic's Chief Medical Officer since November 2014 and additionally has led Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance activities since March 2015. Prior to joining BIND, Dr. Youssoufian served as Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Progenics Pharmaceuticals and was previously President of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at Ziopharm Oncology. Dr. Youssoufian has also held senior medical and R&D leadership positions at Lilly, Imclone Systems, Sanofi Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He completed fellowships in Clinical Genetics at Johns Hopkins and in Hematology-Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and was a Visiting Scientist at Whitehead Institute, MIT. Dr. Youssoufian has served on the faculties at Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School and received his M.Sc. and M.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a B.S. from Boston College.

    Nanotechnology, the engineering and manufacture of materials at the atomic and molecular scale, is used at BIND Therapeutics to develop novel Accurin™ nanomedicines that utilize cytotoxic agents or molecularly targeted agents. This is made possible by entrapping the agent in a nanoparticle to harness its powerful efficacy and control the pharmacokinetics (PK), biodistribution and potentially increase cellular uptake to enhance efficacy and/or safety. Nanomedicines are designed to potentially deliver such drugs to tumor sites either by a passive or an active targeting mechanism or, in the case of Accurins, a combination of both. Many tumors have leaky vasculature. Accurins, which are typically less than 100 nm, are able to escape through the leaky vasculature and accumulate in the tumor tissue; this is known as passive targeting via the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect. Active targeting refers to specific interactions between targeting ligands that are attached to the surface of Accurins and markers associated with the tumor cell or other tumor-associated cells, potentially resulting in enhanced accumulation or retention of particles at the tumor site or increased uptake of particles by cells expressing the target receptor. In addition, Accurins are designed to further increase the concentration of payloads by encapsulating the cytotoxic agent in a polyethylene glycol (PEG) coating that allow it to avoid uptake by immune cells. The PEG coating allows the nanoparticles to circulate for long time periods, with a controlled release of the payload, so that when the particles accumulate at the target tissue, the majority of the therapeutic payload can be released at the disease site and not in healthy tissue.

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