COLLABORATION

ReNeuron, Cardiff University collaboration to revolutionise cancer treatment

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ReNeuron Group is teaming up with Cardiff University to find a new method of delivering cancer treatments.

ReNeuron Group is teaming up with Cardiff University to find a method of delivering cancer treatments across the blood-brain barrier.

The collaboration is funded under Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership which is providing £250,000 (US$300,000) for the programme of research.

Taking part in the pioneering collaboration will be scientists from the university’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, who will utilise ReNeuron’s exosome-based drug delivery technology to test new methods of cancer treatment.

Exosomes are essentially tiny bubbles released from cells that carry molecular “mail.” Their role as intercellular messengers has led to a peak of interest in exosome research in recent years.

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Exosomes contain proteins, lipids, and RNAs that are specific to their cell origin and the hope is that they could deliver drug “cargo” to both nearby and distant cells. With more research and better understanding of exosome cargo contents, scientists believe it could offer opportunities for disease detection and treatment.

Their ability to travel safely in extracellular fluids and deliver cargo to destined cells with high specificity and efficiency makes them ideal candidates for natural drug delivery vehicles. This is the research Cardiff University and ReNeuron want to build on.

The research programme would develop novel systems to enable the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids, such as small interfering RNA, across the blood-brain barrier using ReNeuron’s CTX stem cell-derived exosomes. By scanning models of brain cancer and monitoring where the exosomes have travelled using a radioactive tracer, the Institute will investigate whether they reach the brain to deliver treatment.

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“We and our collaborators are delighted to have won this latest grant from Innovate UK,” head of research at ReNeuron Randolph Corteling said.

“We are very excited about the potential of our exosome technology platform to deliver therapeutic compounds to the brain and thereby to make a real step-change in the development of treatments against hard-to-target disorders of the central nervous system.”

This research builds on the already impressive research of the institute, where they are constantly working to translate research into usable therapies and improve survival rates for cancer treatment patients.

The Institute currently has thirteen research groups made up of key international players in fundamental and translational science in multiple cancer models. They are investigating cancer stem cells in the most common cancer types, including blood, skin, colon, breast, lung, prostate and pancreatic.