Areas of Interest
Transform Cancer Therapeutics

Cancer encompasses a plurality of diseases caused by a variety of genetic and epigenetic factors. As such, targeted or personalized approaches to treatment are needed to address the root cause of specific cancers. Our ever-growing understanding of gene and signalling networks around various forms of cancer are providing new targets for the field and driving innovative new treatments. Genetic medicine approaches are often the only way to address these new targets, and promise to drastically improve outcomes and reduce side effects.

These approaches include:


  • MicroRNA mimics and other RNA interference approaches
  • Messenger RNA therapeutics
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • CAR T-cell therapy and other cell therapies


Precision NanoSystems is uniquely positioned to provide a suite of solutions including formulation and manufacturing expertise and manufacturing technology to support development of nucleic acid based therapeutics from discovery to manufacturing.

NanoAssemblr Technology is used by innovative research institutes, top pharmaceutical companies and disruptive biotech companies to develop gene-based therapies for cancer.

Unlocking the Immune System

Researchers at MD Anderson and Arcturus Therapeutics describe using microRNA to activate the immune system against glioma - a devastating brain cancer. In previous work, MD Anderson researchers discovered the microRNA miR-124 was drastically suppressed in glioma compared to healthy neurons, and their work identified a link to how glioma evades the immune system. In this work, published in the March 2017 issue of the journal Neuro-Oncology, the authors encapsulated miR-124 mimics into lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) using NanoAssemblr Technology. Treating glioma-bearing murine models with miR-124-LNPs unleashed the immune system to fight glioma. This not only improved survival, but also imparted lasting protection from a second glioma challenge. Additionally, this formulation acts on peripheral blood mononuclear cells and does not need to cross the blood brain barrier to be effective. This constitutes an exciting immuno-oncology treatment for glioma that provides lasting protection against relapse with a single treatment, while proving to be safe in multiple species.

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2017 Yaghi - Immune modulatory nanoparticle therapeutics for intracerebral glioma

Selectively Programming Cancer Cell Death

Apoptotic proteins can be used to signal cells to self-destruct. The challenge in using them for cancer therapy has been selectively targeting these signals exclusively to cancer cells without harming healthy cells. In a 2018 paper published in the journal Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, researchers at Moderna Therapeutics report overcoming this challenge. Their approach involved delivering mRNA encoding apoptotic proteins and delivering these to the liver using lipid nanoparticles formulated with NanoAssemblr technology. To control expression of the toxic protein, they analyzed differences in microRNA (miRNA) expression levels between healthy and cancerous liver cells and incorporated miRNA binding sites into their mRNA sequence. When the mRNA encoding the toxic protein is taken up by healthy cells, endogenous miRNAs bind to them, marking them for destruction through the RNA interference pathway before the protein can be expressed. In cancerous cells where these miRNAs are down regulated, the delivered mRNA is translated into toxic proteins. Hence tumour cells are selectively programmed to self-destruct. This constitutes a highly selective way to express exogenous proteins in cancer cells, opening new avenues for treatment.

Read more.

2018 JainThumb

Rapid, efficient development of nucleic acid therapeutics
RNA medicines are the next generation of cancer therapeutics, and lipid nanoparticles are at the forefront of delivery technologies.

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Nucleic Acid Lipid Nanoparticle LNP
Manufacturing Technology

NanoAssemblr technology is trusted by over 70% of top pharmaceutical companies, 80+ innovative biotech companies and 70+ renowned research institutes across all stages of nanomedicine development.

Nanoparticle Technology

Our reagents and transfection kits allow research access to lipid nanoparticle formulations featuring ionizable lipids similar to those in clinically validated formulations. These offer high encapsulation and transfection efficiency with no observed toxicity in numerous primary cell types and in vivo models.

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To learn how Precision NanoSystems accelerates nanomedicine development from an idea to clinical applications, contact our Technical Sales Team.

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Oncology Resources

Publication - Abstract

January 29, 2018

Nature Nanotechnology

A Modular Platform for Targeted RNAi Therapeutics

R. Kedmi, N. Veiga, S. Ramishetti, M. Goldsmith, D. Rosenblum, N. Dammes, I. Hazan-Halevy,...

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Publication - Abstract

June 23, 2020

Advanced Functional Materials

Self‐Degradable Lipid‐Like Materials Based on “Hydrolysis accelerated by the intra‐Particle Enrichment of Reac...

H. Tanaka, T. Takahashi, M. Konishi, N. Takata and H. Akita et al.

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Publication - Abstract

April 24, 2017

Bioconjugate Chemistry

Comparison of Tumor Penetration of Podophyllotoxin–Carboxymethylcellulose Conjugates with Various Chemical Com...

Y. Yang , A. Roy, Y. Zhao, E. Undzys and S.D. Li

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Publication - Abstract

July 13, 2015

Journal of the American Chemical Society

Rapid Synthesis of a Lipocationic Polyester Library via Ring-Opening Polymerization of Functional Valerolacton...

J. Hao, P. Kos, K. Zhou, J.B. Miller, L. Xue, Y. Yan, H. Xiong. S. Elkassih and D.J. Siegw...

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July 16, 2017

MicroRNA-Based Therapeutics in Cancer - Frank Slack, Harvard Medical School

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Publication - Summary

April 12, 2019

Journal of Controlled Release

Lipid Nanoparticles for Delivery of Messenger RNA to the Back of the Eye

S. Patel, R.C. Ryals, K.K.Weller, M.E. Pennesi and G. Sahay

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