Leonardo Biosystems, Inc., a Houston, TX-based provider of a proprietary multistage drug delivery platform initially targeting the treatment of cancer, has received the second half of a $2.5m award from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF).
The initial investment tranche was received in April 2010 (read here).
Founded in 2005 and based on a technology of Dr. Mauro Ferrari, President of the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston, Leonardo has a multi-stage delivery platform that consists of fully biodegradable, porous silicon particles (smaller than a red blood cell), which can be loaded with a diverse array of secondary nanoparticles such as liposomes, micelles, carbon nanotubes, dendrimers and metallic nanoparticles. These particles can be designed to seek out tumor vasculature and can be tuned to create an intravascular depot, providing sustained release following a single intravenous injection.
After showing in animal models to be highly effective in targeting delivery of siRNA and small molecule drugs, the company intends to use these new funds to design, test and validate the commercial manufacturing process and to initiate toxicology testing as a necessary intermediate step on the way to human trials.
Led by CEO Bruce D. Given, M.D., Leonardo is a portfolio company of Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR).