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Single protein encapsulated SN38 for tumor-targeting treatment.

  • Ling, Xiang
  • Li, Fengzhi
  • Causey, Jason
  • Huang, Xiuzhen
  • Cook-Wiens, Galen
  • Cui, Xiaojiang
  • Yu, Changjun
  • Huang, Faqing
  • Wang, Kinsley
  • Liu, Mengmeng
  • Chow, Warren
Publication Date
Dec 10, 2023
eScholarship - University of California
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BACKGROUND: The alkaloid camptothecin analog SN38 is a potent antineoplastic agent, but cannot be used directly for clinical application due to its poor water solubility. Currently, the prodrug approach on SN38 has resulted in 3 FDA-approved cancer therapeutics, irinotecan, ONIVYDE, and Trodelvy. However, only 2-8% of irinotecan can be transformed enzymatically in vivo into the active metabolite SN38, which severely limits the drugs efficacy. While numerous drug delivery systems have been attempted to achieve effective SN38 delivery, none have produced drug products with antitumor efficacy better than irinotecan in clinical trials. Therefore, novel approaches are urgently needed for effectively delivering SN38 to cancer cells with better efficacy and lower toxicity. METHODS: Based on the unique properties of human serum albumin (HSA), we have developed a novel single protein encapsulation (SPE) technology to formulate cancer therapeutics for improving their pharmacokinetics (PK) and antitumor efficacy and reducing their side effects. Previous application of SPE technology to doxorubicin (DOX) formulation has led to a promising drug candidate SPEDOX-6 (FDA IND #, 152154), which will undergo a human phase I clinical trial. Using the same SPE platform on SN38, we have now produced two SPESN38 complexes, SPESN38-5 and SPESN38-8. We conducted their pharmacological evaluations with respect to maximum tolerated dose, PK, and in vivo efficacy against colorectal cancer (CRC) and soft tissue sarcoma (STS) in mouse models. RESULTS: The lyophilized SPESN38 complexes can dissolve in aqueous media to form clear and stable solutions. Maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of SPESN38-5 is 250 mg/kg by oral route (PO) and 55 mg/kg by intravenous route (IV) in CD-1 mice. SPESN38-8 has the MTD of 45 mg/kg by IV in the same mouse model. PK of SPESN38-5 by PO at 250 mg/kg gave mouse plasma AUC0-∞ of 0.05 and 4.5 nmol × h/mL for SN38 and SN38 glucuronidate (SN38G), respectively, with a surprisingly high molar ratio of SN38G:SN38 = 90:1. However, PK of SPESN38-5 by IV at 55 mg/kg yielded much higher mouse plasma AUC0-∞ of 19 and 28 nmol × h/mL for SN38 and SN38G, producing a much lower molar ratio of SN38G:SN38 = 1.5:1. Antitumor efficacy of SPESN38-5 and irinotecan (control) was evaluated against HCT-116 CRC xenograft tumors. The data indicates that SPESN38-5 by IV at 55 mg/kg is more effective in suppressing HCT-116 tumor growth with lower systemic toxicity compared to irinotecan at 50 mg/kg. Additionally, SPESN38-8 and DOX (control) by IV were evaluated in the SK-LMS-1 STS mouse model. The results show that SPESN38-8 at 33 mg/kg is highly effective for inhibiting SK-LMS-1 tumor growth with low toxicity, in contrast to DOXs insensitivity to SK-LMS-1 with high toxicity. CONCLUSION: SPESN38 complexes provide a water soluble SN38 formulation. SPESN38-5 and SPESN38-8 demonstrate better PK values, lower toxicity, and superior antitumor efficacy in mouse models, compared with irinotecan and DOX.

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