NaNoticsNaNotics LLC (Mill Valley, California) has announced that it will work with the Mayo Clinic to develop a cancer treatment known as NaNots that works by depleting targeted pathogenic molecules from the blood. The NaNot would target a soluble form of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), a tumor-generated immune inhibitor, while ignoring membrane forms of PD-L1.

“Our team has been studying sPD-L1 for several years,” said Dr. Sean Park, an oncologist at Mayo Clinic, in a statement. “We believe it’s a key driver of immune evasion for many tumor types.”

Park said the ability to home in on soluble PD-L1 is “potentially significant.”

“We’re excited to collaborate with NaNotics and test NaNots against sPD-L1 in humans for the first time,” he added.


NaNot image courtesy of NaNotics

NaNotics hopes to file an investigational new drug (IND) application with the FDA to begin human clinical trials within two years.

Prior animal studies have found that NaNots do not have measurable toxicity even at doses 25 to 100 times higher than the planned dose for humans.

In the collaboration, Nanotics will share its nano-depletion platform with Mayo researchers, while the Mayo Clinic will offer its own PD-L1 antibody and a transgenic mouse model that provides human sPD-L1.

NaNotics’ cofounder and CEO, Louis Hawthorne, is a molecular cloning pioneer. He has co-founded livestock and dog cloning companies.