Nanomaterials for combinational therapy applications

(mRNA)-based therapeutics

The Need

Combinational therapies for cancer that integrate chemotherapy with another method of treatment can minimize side-effects and maximize the efficacy of treatment. Recently, messenger RNA (mRNA)-based therapeutics have been recognized as a new class of cancer treatments with substantial development potential. However, development of these treatments is slowed by the difficulty of delivering mRNA to cells. This difficulty results from both the inherent physical instability of mRNA molecules as well as the obstacle of introducing transcripts to cells. Therefore, new developments are needed to solve these problems and enable use of combinational mRNA-chemotherapy treatment.

The Technology

Researchers from The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Yizhou Dong, have created a library of drug-conjugated nanomaterials for combinational cancer therapy. These nanomaterials feature functional paclitaxel-like modules that are also capable of encapsulating mRNA for delivery into cells. In effect, this encapsulation protects mRNA from degradation, while simultaneously providing the effect of the chemotherapy drug. Additionally, this programmable platform presents a new way to provide personalized cancer treatment, and is capable of being reprogrammed to extend this technology’s field of use beyond cancer therapeutics.

Commercial Applications

  • Personalized medicine for cancer treatment
  • mRNA-delivery method for treatment of cancer and other diseases


  • Combinational therapy platform
  • Personalized medicine
  • Efficient mRNA-based treatment platform

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