By Maria Lambros, Rajesh R. Patil, and Rakesh Gollen
Targeted drug delivery (TDD) is taking a major role in the fight against cancer. The main reason for its exponential growth in the past five years and for the increasing number of TDD-based companies (Celgene, BIND, Blend, Celator, Arbutus Biopharma, Cerulean) with products approved and tested in clinical trials (Caelyx, Abraxane, Accurins, Opaxio, CPX-351, TKM-PLK1, CTXL-101, and others) is attributed to the benefits TDD offers: enhanced drug selectivity, improved efficacy, reduced side effects, and strategy to overcome drug resistance.
In addition to many start-up companies, TDD is also attractive for big pharma, which partners with biotech companies and supports R&D and advancement into clinics. There are many TDD approaches. The most explored ones are drug encapsulation into lipid- and polymer-based nanoparticles, and drug conjugation to specific ligands (antibody, peptide, folate) leveraging the enhanced permeability and retention effect and the active targeting by interactions with receptors overexpressed on cancer cells.
These approaches, along with types of conjugates and their advantages, composition, and linker chemistry, as well as entrapment approaches, will be the main focus of the TDD symposium Carrying a Drug to Its Target: Bonding or Pocketing? at the 2015 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition. Using these applications of TDD products in advancing the clinical trials will be also discussed, along with other major challenges associated with TDD, including a better understanding of the mechanism of action, understanding and management of side effects, and selection of appropriate clinical settings (patient selection, dosing regimen). As an audience member you can expect to learn the latest development and the key technologies of the major TDD products, know-how and challenges in developing these technologies, clinical insight of these products, and also the future trend and perspectives for these products.