Cello Therapeutics’ Platelet Membrane-Coated Nanoparticles Offer a Novel Platform for the Delivery of Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment

SAN DIEGO, March 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Solid tumors comprise about 90% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases and cancer deaths according to an annual report from the National Cancer Institute. Despite the relative “ease” of surgical resection of such tumors, there lies significant risk in the recurrence of the tumor due to incomplete removal of tumor cells or from metastasis, making new treatment options such as immunotherapy urgently needed to control and eliminate these tumors.

In a new study published today in Nature Communications, Cello Therapeutics shows how semisynthetic nanoparticles coated in platelet membrane can effectively inhibit tumor growth and metastasis in multiple mouse models of solid tumors. Cello collects the membrane of human platelets and coats them onto synthetic nanoscale particle cores loaded with a toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist to create a formulation dubbed “PNP-R848.” See the article at: https://rdcu.be/chOMZ

Platelets have been implicated in many disease pathologies, including tumor progression. Previous studies have shown that platelets naturally bind to both cancer cells and components of the tumor microenvironment. In addition, platelets have even been shown to facilitate metastasis by binding to circulating tumor cells and “hiding” them from detection.

Localized intratumoral injection of PNP-R848 effectively eliminated or inhibited tumor growth in two separate mouse models of cancer. In a colorectal cancer model, PNP-R848 not only entirely eradicated the tumor, but also induced a sustained long term immunity. Mice that had been treated initially with PNP-R848 were rechallenged two additional times with increasing tumor burdens. The mice were able to completely reject and kill these tumors without any additional PNP-R848 treatments, suggesting that treatment with PNP-R848 has the potential to prevent future recurrence of the cancer.

In an aggressive metastatic breast cancer model, administration of PNP-R848 was able to significantly inhibit tumor growth compared with free drug or drug loaded into purely synthetic particles. In addition, treatment with PNP-R848 was able to substantially reduce the number of metastases found in the mice, indicating that localized administration of PNP-R848 is able to induce a system-wide immune response against the tumor.

Cello CEO Dr. Jie Zhang said, “Combining the benefits of both manmade and natural materials, the development of therapeutic approaches based on the modification of synthetic nanoparticles with natural cell membranes represents a significant advancement in the field of nanomedicine. The ability of PNP-R848 to retain at the tumor site and promote a specific and sustained systemic antitumor immune response is a promising step towards a generalizable cure for cancer. Cello is currently scaling up manufacturing of PNP-R848 and evaluating its safety profile in preparation for clinical trials.”

About Cello Therapeutics Inc.: Founded in 2016 in San Diego, CA, Cello is an emerging biotechnology company focused on developing novel nanoparticle delivery platforms for cancer treatment. Taking inspiration from nature, Cello seeks to mimic the complexity found in physiological processes with their patented cell membrane coating technology. www.cellothera.com