NaNotics nano particles could revolutionise of a host of chronic and acute conditions.
This pioneering new technology has generated enormous buzz with Keith Flaherty, Director of Developmental Therapeutics Cancer Centre/Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital describing it as “the most innovative use of a nanoparticle I’ve seen in my career.”
Longevity.Technology: There is an understandable anticipation about NaNotics’ approach and with good reason. With an excellent team around them, they have developed a treatment which has the potential to be truly transformative.
“NaNots,” says Hawthorne, “are a new class of medicine engineered to modulate one molecular pathway at a time, versus antibody drugs which modulate multiple pathways, often with mixed results. What NaNots do is deplete specific pathogenic molecules from the blood, what they don’t do is target cells of any kind avoiding the vast majority of drug side effects which stem from unintended cell surface interactions.”
Since founding, they have already raised $10m. At the close of their A2 round, they had a post-money valuation of $50m, however half of their patents and all their efficacy occurred afterwards, so they expect to see a bump in valuation. Funds for this round were used for IP engineering and preclinical studies.
They are also currently working on bridge finance and undergoing due diligence for a Series B round of $50 million. They will use the funds to run human trials of two priority NaNots in Singapore and Australia.
Last year, when discussing NaNots, Hawthorne told us. “They [NaNots] are engineered to do just one thing and that’s the holy grail of medicine design, because most drugs do two things: something you want them to do, and something you don’t. In other words, side effects.”
These tiny particles are 120 nanometres in diameter and carry an agent designed to capture a specific molecular target:
A NaNot is comprised of four parts:
- A biocompatible core;
- A capture agent which covers the core and has a specific binding affinity for the target. They can be antibodies, FAB prime fragments, or more advanced molecules;
- A porous shield which allows the target to diffuse through and prevents any cellular interaction;
- A stealth coating which delays clearance by immune cells until target depletion is complete.
NaNots are specific against soluble versus membrane forms of a target. Many bioactive molecules have both a pathogenic circulating form as well as an essential form of the same molecule on cell membranes. It’s difficult to create a drug which can distinguish between these two forms, but NaNots achieve this using patented geometry.
Preclinical data finds that it is safe at even 100 times the planned dosage as well as being ‘blazingly fast’ with the ability to deplete a target from blood by more than 90% in less than five minutes.
Conventional drugs also tend to stop working over time as the body develops drug specific anti bodies. Thanks to the shield, which prevents B-cells from accessing the capture agents, this does not happen with NaNots.
“NaNotics is currently developing a tool kit of NaNots against three inflammatory targets driving chronic conductions such as arthritis, and acute conditions such as sepsis, including Covid 19 sepsis.”
Hawthorne highlights a recent study using a 4T1 mouse model of triple negative breast cancer. The control group showed six of ten subjects surviving on day 16 of the trial, five of which were metastatic. They tested antibodies against the PD1 receptor and found there were only two in ten survivors one of which was metastatic.
The NaNot group, meanwhile, had six of ten survivors on day 16 but five of the six were metastasis-free. NaNots blocked metastasis, significantly outperforming checkpoint inhibitors.
“In this study we dosed mice sufficiently to deplete targets by 67%,” he says. “We expect greater efficacy with deeper target depletion. We’re fabricating new NaNots right now for a new study in 4T1 and other cancer models in which we will be depleting STNFRs by more than 90%. We have significant latitude to dose at higher levels, because our preclinical data based on published data on the materials we are using all indicate unparalleled levels of safety.”
Studies so far have been successful and they have already made progress in securing patents for the product. Currently, they have four issued US patents covering composition of matter with a number of international equivalents in prosecution.
With a number of successful studies behind them NaNotics have potential for a number of different applications. They work faster, offer more predictable dosage, have fewer side effects and are more effective than conventional antibody drugs.” (One of the strengths of NaNots is that they clear very quickly, unlike drugs).
The future looks positive and we wish Lou and his team all the best in closing their round.