InteliSpark client, Shasqi Inc., has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences division of the NIH for their project, “Material-Guided Delivery and Local Activation of Biorthogonal Prodrugs”. This project focuses on improving systemic administration of small molecule therapeutics to treat diseases, combatting adverse drug events (ADEs).
Systemic administration of drugs to treat disease can be medically ineffective, and even hazardous, because the drugs fail to concentrate, specifically, at the location in the body where intervention is needed. Approximately 1 in 20 hospitalized patients in the U.S. experience ADEs, and over a million are reported every year. This can cause for longer hospital stays, double risk of mortality, and over $100 in economic toll annually. In addition, ADEs have a crippling indirect effect on therapeutic arsenal. Roughly 25% of drug development programs fail before completion of Phase II studies due to problems with clinical safety. Research groups have responded by developing drug delivery systems to optimize the localized and timely delivery of therapeutics, however, the approaches used have major limitations.
Shasqi is developing a modular platform technology for drug-delivery that enables precise spatiotemporal localization of therapeutics and that allows for the modulation of drug release. Relying on proprietary “catch and release” interactions between an implantable gel and initially “silent” prodrugs, the extensible technology is applicable to diverse medical areas and has the potential to accelerate drug discovery.