Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: RNN), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the Ohio State Innovation Foundation, an affiliate of The Ohio State University, for a novel oligonucleotide drug delivery platform, Lipid-Coated Albumin Nanoparticle (LCAN), developed at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. In preclinical studies, the LCAN platform has demonstrated the ability to deliver oligonucleotide compounds into cancer tumors, which can result in improved safety and efficacy. Rexahn’s first preclinical candidate to be developed with this delivery platform will be RX-0201-nano.
“The LCAN platform allows Rexahn to specifically target cancer tumors with oligonucleotides in a way that increases potency and reduces side effects, and is a broad platform that has the ability to generate multiple therapeutic candidates going forward. We will initially move forward with RX-0201-nano as the first candidate from the LCAN platform, and we anticipate entering the clinic with the first candidate within two years,” stated Peter D. Suzdak, Ph.D., Rexahn’s Chief Executive Officer. “Furthermore, the platform also offers Rexahn the ability to use this delivery platform to enhance and create additional next generation oligonucleotide therapies.”
LCAN incorporates both cationic lipid and a cationized albumin that can form an electrostatic complex with oligonucleotides and be co-encapsulated by lipids. It also has a targeting moiety conjugated on the surface to direct the LCAN directly to the cancer tumors. RX-0201-nano is a nanoliposomal Akt1 inhibitor, similar to the Company’s Archexin® which may be effective in solid tumors and hematological malignancies and has shown high efficiency and good stability in preclinical studies.
Robert J. Lee, Ph.D., researcher at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the inventor of the LCAN technology, commented, “The LCAN platform represents a significant advancement in targeted delivery of oligonucleotides to cancer tumors. Other types of formulation approaches have been tried in the past but none offered such potent activity for the targeted delivery of an oligonucleotide to the cancer tumor.”