On Target: This Company Says It Delivers Drugs Exactly How You Need Them

On Target: This Company Says It Delivers Drugs Exactly How You Need Them

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The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

Novel medicines and therapies are on the rise for millions of disorders and diseases, thanks to hardworking scientists and pharmaceutical companies. However, the way in which these therapeutic drugs are administered is just as important as the drugs themselves ⁠— and, sometimes, it’s a matter of life and death.

One clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Matinas BioPharma Holdings Inc. MTNB, is looking to improve the intracellular delivery of important therapeutics through its lipid nano-crystal platform (LNC), addressing multiple challenges of traditional drug-delivery approaches.

There are 3 primary areas where Matinas says their LNC platform offers exciting possibilities: significantly improving the safety profile of drugs that currently have treatment-limiting off-target toxicities, allowing the safe and efficient intracellular delivery of large, complex molecules (like gene therapy or CRISPR), and creating safe, effective oral formulations of drugs that otherwise would require IV administration.

In the past, getting drugs inside cells has often necessitated achieving high enough plasma levels to “push” the drugs across cell membranes, which also result in levels high enough to cause off-target organ toxicity or damage. Newer delivery options like lipid nanoparticles and viral vectors may not be efficient, have their own safety and stability issues, and also have significant challenges with off-target delivery.

Matinas’ LNC platform, in contrast, provides a means for drugs to efficiently, safely, and non-destructively enter cells directly, without the need for high plasma levels, and greatly  reducing the risk for systemic toxicity.  LNC- delivered drugs may not only be safer, but are also specifically  targeted to where they are needed. Moreover, since LNCs are highly stable nanocrystals, they protect delivery drugs from environmental and biological degradation, and can therefore be administered in a variety of ways: intravenous, intranasal, intramuscular, and even orally.

Using this LNC technology, Matinas BioPharma says it has developed an antifungal treatment (MAT2203) as well as the first oral formulation of a gram-negative antibiotic (MAT2501).

MAT2203 is an oral formulation of amphotericin B, an extremely potent (but also extremely toxic) antifungal drug that is the gold-standard for treating life-threatening fungal infections, especially in immunocompromised patients. Currently, amphotericin B needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital, and cannot be used for more than a week or two because of off-target kidney damage. Thanks to the LNC platform, amphotericin B can now be delivered orally without the risk of kidney damage, thus potentially changing the whole therapeutic approach to severe fungal infections and substantially reducing healthcare costs for patients afflicted with these deadly diseases.

MAT2501 is an oral formulation of amikacin, an antibiotic used to treat chronic and acute bacterial infections like non-tuberculous mycobacterium (NTM). Amikacin is currently only available as an IV treatment, and also has significant toxicities (inner ear and kidney damage). In preliminary studies, (thanks to support from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) LNC technology has demonstrated oral, non-toxic delivery of amikacin directly to sites of infection, once again highlighting the capabilities of the LNC platform.

Matinas Biopharma also has a series of strategic partnerships to further expand applications of this novel delivery technology, including with the NIH, Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD, ViiV Healthcare and Genentech ⁠— a member of Roche Holding AG RHHBY. Recently, in December 2020, the company also announced a partnership with the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease (NIAID) to work with an oral formulation of Gilead’s popular drug Remdesivir (in preclinical studies) for the treatment of COVID-19.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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