Дата публикации: 07 октября 2021
Автор(ы): Marina MALYGINA
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) Science in Russia, №3, 2012, C.52-55
Номер публикации: №1633596401

Marina MALYGINA, (c)

by Marina MALYGINA, journalist


Rusnano State Corporation (Moscow) signed at the end of 2011 an investment agreement on financial support of a project aimed at creation of drugs on the basis of technological platforms developed by BIND Biosciences and Selecta companies (USA) well-known in medicine and formed from laboratories of the Massachusetts Technological Institute and Harvard Medical School. The development of a new class of synthetic vaccines and immune therapy drugs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases will be realized in Russia by their affiliated companies Selecta RUS and Bind RUS using the scientific and clinical experience gained in Russia. The experts expect that commercial manufacture of drugs so important for an appreciable part of the Russian population will be launched in four or five years.

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According to the conditions of the Agreement, Rusnano invests $25 mln in each of the foreign companies, while they, in turn, attract $22.25 mln from their existing and new investors, so that the total volume of investments for each company reaches $47.25 mln. The state corporation will have 9.89 percent of shares from BIND and 12 percent from Selecta. The money will be invested by several portions depending on the course of the program realization and solution of the problems in Russia. The American experts expect that additional financing and extension of the research and clinical base in the Russian Federation will bring the activities of the companies to a new level, completely utilizing the potentialities of nanotechnology-based drugs, open the rapidly growing pharmaceutical markets, and will make it possible to maximally use perspective technological platforms for creation of new drugs improving the health of patients suffering from severe diseases.


Let us emphasize that the USA became one of the main partners of the corporation in the Northern American continent long ago. Therefore, Rusnano USA, Inc. was founded here a year ago in order to find interesting nanotechnology projects for Russia and for their financial support. Anatoly Chubais, Head of Rusnano, said in December 2011 during his visit to the USA, "Our business cooperation with the US is really dynamic. A new project emerges literally every two or three months. I cannot name precisely the sum of our investments at present, but we can speak about hundreds of millions of dollars." His answer to a reasonable question--what are such tremendous investments in foreign companies made for--was as follows: "As soon as we become the owners, we put forward our basic condition--transfer of business to Russia, transfer of technologies. That is, each million invested overseas will promote the appearance of foreign technologies with a high potential in the Russian market." In other words, Rusnano purchases foreign innovations in order to launch new production lines in Russia. Investments in Selecta and BIND, the leading companies in nanopharmaceutics, confirm these words.


Let us recollect that the technological platforms of the companies have been created at the laboratories of the

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SELECTA nanoparticles imitate natural pathogens.


Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Technological Institute by teams headed by Prof. Omid Farokhzade and Prof. Robert Langer. The latter name is well-known all over the world. He is engaged in the development of polymer materials and technologies for precise addressed delivery of drugs to damaged tissues with a regulated effect of the active substance. His inventions are used in oncology, cardiovascular therapy, and other spheres of medicine. Every year up to 100 mln patients are treated by the methods created by the scientist. Langer is one of the most fruitful inventor scientists in the history of medicine: he registered about 850 patents and patent applications in various countries, a winner of one of the greatest international prizes for technological achievements-Millennium Technology Prize (2008), instituted by the Government of Finland in 2004. Recently the experts have named him as the most probable candidate for the Nobel Prize (he was included in the traditional list of the main candidates in 2011). The Rusnano thinks that such partners can guarantee an effective realization of the project.


The participants of the project come to the Russian market with impressive results, making an important contribution to the Russian public health. The Selecta biopharmaceutical company creates on the basis of Synthetic Vaccine Particles (SVP™)--a patented technological platform--a new class of drugs with a wide spectrum of therapeutic applications-cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, dependencies of different kinds. The activities of the company combine the achievements of two spheres of knowledge--immunobiology and nano-technology; at their interface a new generation of drugs has been created, providing optimal interactions with the immune system. Depending on the target cells and molecular information coded for in the nanoparticle, they can induce a strong response or, vice versa, tolerance in relation to a wide spectrum of antigens.


The most perspective seems to be a vaccine for getting rid of smoking SEL-068. Clinical trials of this vaccine are now in progress. "It stimulates the immune system, which responds by active production of antibodies binding nicotine released into the blood," this is how Werner Kotrils, Selecta President and Director General, explains the vaccine's mechanism of action. "The complex of these antibodies is so great that it cannot penetrate through the blood-brain barrier, and hence, they prevent nicotine delivery to the brain and the resultant dependence effect."


Among the innovation products of the company is a universal anti-flu tSVP™ vaccine, generating after subcutaneous and intranasal administration a high level of antibodies in rodents, as was shown by recent studies. It is planned to be used during pandemics in order to improve the defense reaction of patients. According to the experts, the tSVP™ vaccine will have great advantages in comparison with the known analogs in the market.


The preparation intended for protection from several human papilloma virus strains is almost ready. Its efficiency is confirmed by the National Cancer Institute, USA. The innovation vaccine has exhibited neutralization of the virus for all 6 tested strains. It can supplement or replace the antiviral drugs used now. In addition, vac-

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cines for malaria and diabetes I (insulin-dependent) control are now prepared for trials.


The Selecta's partner--BIND Company, developing a new class of highly selective therapeutic agents with target effects Accurins--also has a good chance to occupy a niche of their own in the world nanopharmaceutical market. They accumulate in damaged tissues, improving the efficiency of treatment for cancer and other diseases. One of these drugs, BIND-014, has been highly appreciated by oncologists. Clinical trials have demonstrated that it increases significantly the concentration of its active substance (docetaxel) in the so-called solid tumors, including breast, lung and prostatic cancer, with minimum involvement of other tissues. Hence, the dose of the drug killing involved cells can be increased significantly without risk of damaging the normal cells and hence, the treatment efficiency will be improved significantly. We should like to emphasize that BIND-014 is used for the treatment of metastatic tumors at the last stage of their development.


Robert Rowsen, Director General of Selecta RUS and BIND RUS, says that the agreement with Rusnano and other investors will increase 2-fold the volume of the American laboratories activities. Commenting the deal, Werner Kotrils, Selecta President, said, "This will appreciably stimulate our work at perspective vaccines and immunotherapeutic agents. In addition, our work in Russia offers competitive advantages--additional chance to organize the production and a more accurate estimation of patients' need in vaccines protecting from nicotine dependence and from infections at the developing markets."


Scott Minik, BIND Director General, agrees with his colleague: "It is an exceptional chance for the company to expand the scope of its work and stimulate the creation of target drugs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Our advantage is a strong investment partner--Rusnano, the outstanding intellectual potential of the Russian scientists and engineers, and the presence at the strategically important public health market."


Dmitry Lisenkov, Rusnano Managing Director, said that the first product created in Russia within the framework of the project will be the vaccine protecting from nicotine dependence. Choosing the variant for the location of laboratories and production, the American company management selected the Moscow Region. At present various profile specialists are being invited: chemists, biologists, chemical engineers. They will be trained at laboratories of the USA. The laboratory premises for them will already be ready. As for the drugs, the most advanced of them can appear at the Russian market in 2 or 3 years, according to expert estimations. The drugs which are now undergoing clinical trials can be launched in 4 or 5 years.

Опубликовано на Порталусе 07 октября 2021 года

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