While reading an interesting article about the link between academic research and commercial products, I stumbled upon an intriguing company experimenting with a novel -- and tiny -- new way to fight cancer.
Insert Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Arrowhead Research
Nevertheless, the platform is so compelling because the particles it uses are just 40 nanometers in diameter. That makes them big enough to prevent being screened out by the kidneys, but small enough to enter individual tumors. According to the article, this creates sort of a "FedEx" delivery process for cancer treatment. The hope is that since the drugs are delivered to their target with pinpoint accuracy, they'll be much more effective. More significantly, because fewer drugs can be used to acheive the same result, there's also a hope that patients can avoid many of the unpleasant side effects currently associated with cancer treatment, such as nausea and hair loss.
In addition to Insert Therapeutics, Arrowhead also owns majority stakes in Calando Pharmaceuticals, an interesting long-term play in the field of RNA interference, and Unidym. You might recall that earlier this spring, the latter acquired Carbon Nanotechnologies -- one of the world's best-known private companies making carbon nanotubes. As I explained in this article, its carbon nanotubes offer some intriguing possibilities for the creation of high-performance, cost-effective flexible electronics.
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