Pushing the boundaries of cancer therapy to bring better outcome for millions of cancer patients worldwide

What is the Challenge?

Millions of cancer patients need to be hospitalized repeatedly during their treatment to get high doses of chemotherapy. Aside from destroying cancer cells, the chemotherapy also causes damage to normal cells, causing severe side effects that sometimes are more debilitating than cancer itself, making the patient suffer. The challenge of delivering drugs for cancer and genetic therapies, across cell membranes without damaging the cells and triggering an adverse immune response, is a complex hurdle in the pharmaceutical industry.

What is the Solution?

CyGenica has developed a new type of cell-penetrating protein as a “drug delivery system”, creating a drilling mechanism which can penetrate target cell membranes and safely deliver a range of cargoes including cancer drugs, antibiotics and gene therapy products. A cell’s membrane acts as a barrier and gate, keeping the constituents of the cell in and unwanted substances out. The technology, called GEENIE, is a molecular drill that acts as a nanomachine and tunnels through the cell membrane to deliver multitudes of cargoes in an efficient way, without any toxicity and minimum immunogenicity, not causing harm to the cell. The successful delivery of therapeutics into target cells and organelles would minimise the undesired ‘off target’ side effects as well as reducing the required drug dose. CyGenica has been able to demonstrate that GEENIE is non-toxic even at an extremely high dose. The test found no signs of toxicity or immunogenicity whatsoever in vivo in mice.

The founder of CyGenica, Indian Dr Nusrat Sanghamitra, saw her father being diagnosed with cancer when she was still a student. Witnessing his suffering from the side effects of his cancer therapy over years defined her life goal; 'how to make cancer drugs safer and better'. The CyGenica team works to develop the world's safest molecular carrier for therapeutics delivery, enabling the next generation genome editing therapeutics for various life-threatening diseases such as cancer.