Celator(R) Pharmaceuticals Successfully Uses Nanoparticles to Administer Hydrophobic Drug Combinations

PRINCETON, N.J., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Celator Pharmaceuticals today reported results on a novel approach designed to deliver drugs that are incapable of dissolving in water (hydrophobic drugs) in nanoparticles to enhance and control drug circulation. These findings allow the company to combine hydrophobic drugs such as paclitaxel with other anti-cancer drugs, based on the company's proprietary CombiPlex technology(TM). The results were presented today in a poster presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in San Diego.

CombiPlex(TM) is a drug ratio technology platform that represents a new approach which identifies a ratio of drugs that will deliver a synergistic benefit, locks the desired ratio in a drug delivery vehicle, and maintains the ratio in patients with the goal of improving clinical outcomes.

To date, Celator has utilized liposomes to deliver synergistic drug combinations to treat cancer. Hydrophobic drugs such as paclitaxel are not amenable to this form of delivery because they detach from liposomes almost immediately after injection. Celator scientists reported that they were able to generate a library of hydrophobic paclitaxel conjugates incorporated into nanoparticles. In preclinical testing, these nanoparticles were shown to circulate in the blood for more than 24 hours, allowing the drug to accumulate selectively in solid tumors where it can then be released and exposed to the tumor cells.

According to the research findings, the ability to optimize paclitaxel conjugates could make it possible for higher drug levels to be maintained in plasma for extended periods, which is associated with superior preclinical antitumor efficacy when compared to drug delivery involving paclitaxel at its maximum tolerated dose. In addition, preclinical studies involving a drug conjugate of paclitaxel and gemcitabine co-formulated into nanoparticles showed that a synergistic ratio of the two drugs circulating in plasma was maintained for more than 24 hours after intravenous injection.

"Historically, we have applied our technology to approved and widely used anti-cancer drugs using liposomes. By expanding our formulation platform to include nanoparticles for hydrophobic drugs, we now have greater flexibility in delivering synergistic drug combinations with widely varying chemical properties, potentially leading to more product opportunities," said Andrew Janoff, Ph.D., CEO of Celator. "Our goal is to substantially improve clinical outcomes offered by current combination drug therapies."

About Celator

Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a privately held pharmaceutical company working to develop new and more effective therapies to treat cancer. CombiPlex(TM), the company's drug ratio technology platform, represents a revolutionary new approach that identifies a ratio of drugs that will deliver a synergistic benefit, locks the desired ratio in a drug delivery vehicle, and maintains the ratio in patients with the goal of improving clinical outcomes. The company pipeline includes: CPX-1 (a liposomal formulation of irinotecan:floxuridine), currently in a Phase 2 trial in patients with colorectal cancer; CPX-351 (a liposomal formulation of cytarabine:daunorubicin), currently in a Phase 1 trial in patients with leukemia; CPX-571 (a liposomal formulation of irinotecan:cisplatin), a preclinical stage compound; and multiple research programs. Based on the applications of CombiPlex, Celator is positioned to advance a broad pipeline of combination therapies involving both previously approved and novel drug agents. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.celatorpharma.com.

SOURCE Celator Pharmaceuticals

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