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A start-up co-founded by researchers at Cornell University has initiated the first therapeutic trial evaluating fluorescent silica nanoparticles, known as “Cornell dots,” as a potential treatment for cancer.


Their ultrasmall size, below the cutoff for renal clearance, sets the Cornell dots apart from previous drug delivery vehicles promising high safety and efficacy.


Originally created in the lab of Ulrich B. Wiesner, Ph.D., Cornell dots have already demonstrated diagnostic efficacy in finding tumors in the clinical setting.


Since the technology’s introduction, Elucida Oncology Inc., a biotechnology company Wiesner co-founded, has further developed the nanoparticles, now known as C’Dots, and will assess them for therapeutic use in targeted drug delivery among patients with advanced, recurrent, or refractory cancers.


“Lots of drugs on the shelves of pharmaceutical companies have not made the cut because they may have had severe side effects,” Wiesner told Healio. “When you put them onto ultrasmall delivery vehicles like C’Dots, it could make all the difference. As a result of their rapid renal clearance, they reach the tumor and are efficacious but without the side effects. Once we verify this ‘target-or-clear’ paradigm, there’s no end to what is possible.”


* Image courtesy of Healio.

Learn more about Cornell Start-Up To Test Novel Paradigm for Cancer Drug Delivery.