Professor Threadgill and their team will refine a system they designed to deliver drugs specifically to prostate cancer cells, and avoiding their release in normal healthy tissue. In this system, they attach powerful drugs to the ends of a molecule called PEG, which concentrates in solid tumours. The drug is joined to PEG through linkers that prevent the drug from reacting. However, this linker can be broken by Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), a protein that’s released in high levels by prostate cancer cells. Once the linker is broken, the drug is released and activated. In this way, we can deliver powerful drugs that will only be active inside the prostate tumour.
Progress update (Year 2 of 3)
Most of the work so far has focussed on developing a series of chemical reactions to produce the new drug with the ability to attach to PEG. When these challenges are overcome and the drug can be attached to PEG, they can test whether or not the drug is released effectively by PSA.
Researcher - Professor Michael Threadgill
Institution – Bath University
Grant award - £99,730.00
Reference - S13-08