Colloidal Gold Nanoparticles: A Versatile Platform for Developing Tumor Targeted Cancer Therapies
CytImmune Sciences is developing colloidal gold nanoparticles (cAu) as a platform for tumor targeted drug delivery. Specifically two drugs are discussed: Aurimune-T and AuriTax. Aurimune-T is manufactured by covalently linking molecules of TNF and Thiol-derivatized polyethylene glycol (PEG-THIOL) onto the surface of 25 nm colloidal gold. Intravenously administered Aurimune-T rapidly accumulates in solid tumors implanted in mice and shows little to no accumulation in the reticuloendothelial system or in other healthy organs. Coincident with the sequestration of gold is a 10-fold accumulation of TNF in the tumor when compared to animals treated with native TNF. By getting more TNF to the tumor Aurimune-T improves the safety and efficacy of TNF treatment since maximal tumor responses were achieved at lower doses of the drug. The second nanoparticle drug, AuriTax, consists of a tumor targeting moiety (TNF), a chemotherapeutic (paclitaxel), and PEG-THIOL, which are bound to the same cAu nanoparticle. Like Aurimune-T, AuriTax delivers 10-fold more TNF and paclitaxel to the solid tumor when compared to each drug alone. These data support the continued development of the colloidal gold platform and show the potential uses of TNF as a tumor targeting ligand and a cancer therapy.