InteliSpark client, Shasqi Inc., has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institution of Health, for their project “Material Guided Drug Delivery for Pediatric Tumors using an Implantable Biomaterial and Bio-orthogonal Chemistry”. With their award, Shasqi will be focusing its efforts of drug delivery technology toward pediatric sarcomas. Typical treatment for sarcomas include intense chemotherapies, then surgery, leading to severe effects which makes it extremely difficult on pediatric patients.
Of the new cancer drugs approved by the FDA, between 1948 and 2002, 30 out of the 120 (25%) can be used in children. Shasqi found a need to address this and to better develop chemotherapies, with a focus on doxorubicin and pediatric patients. Shasqi is developing patent-pending technology, using an implantable biomaterial and prodrugs of chemotherapies to better improve the efficiency and therapeutic index of treatment. Their technology is based on a bio-orthogonal ‘catch and release’ reaction between the implanted biomaterial and prodrug. Their work will increase the success of tumor resection and ultimately increase the survival of pediatric sarcoma patients. With the grant from the NIH, Shasqi will be able to advance their efforts towards this goal.