ProTransit Nanotherapy plans to launch human clinical trials this summer with products that could target precursors of skin cancers. The company has developed therapies based nanoparticle technology invented at the University of Nebraska Medical Center to help prevent and potentially improve sunspots and neutralize free radicals.
The trials will assess the ability of investigational topical formulations to optimize skin health and improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin including spots, wrinkles and sagging.
Capital investment from Artesian Beauty, in Santa Fe, NM, financed the trials and will also help ProTransit optimize the production of nanoparticles at UNMC's Nebraska Nanomedicine Production Plant, ProTransit's primary manufacturer.
"This is really a prequel for us," says ProTransit CEO and co-founder Gary Madsen, Ph.D., "but if this works like we think it will, then we'll move on to fully commercializing Pro-NP™."
Pro-NPis ProTransit's patented nanoparticle delivery technology that quickly penetrates the skin, delivering a sustained release of active ingredients throughout the epidermis. Early studies have shown the nanoparticles can deliver a wide variety of payloads to treat multiple conditions. ProTransit believes that by encapsulating high potency antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, Pro-NP should improve the signs of photoaging.
“While topically applied antioxidants are notoriously hard to get into the skin, we’ve seen remarkable skin penetration and efficacy using superoxide dismutase and catalase in the studies we’ve done to date,” Dr. Madsen says. “Effective penetration and meaningful delivery of antioxidants may help improve the visible signs of sun damage. But we’re also conducting a 2-year study with a grant from the NIH to assess our ability to prevent skin cancer using the Pro-NP nanoparticle loaded with the same antioxidants.”
The NIH-supported skin cancer prevention study is being conducted at Omaha’s Creighton University School of Medicine.