Readily prepared biodegradable nanoparticles to formulate poorly water soluble drugs improving their pharmacological properties: The example of trabectedin

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The improvement of the pharmacological profile of lipophilic drug formulations is one of the main successes achieved using nanoparticles (NPs) in medicine. However, the complex synthesis procedure and numerous post-processing steps hamper the cost-effective use of these formulations. In this work, an approach which requires only a syringe to produce self-assembling biodegradable and biocompatible poly(caprolactone)-based NPs is developed. The effective synthesis of monodisperse NPs has been made possible by the optimization of the block-copolymer synthesized via a combination of ring opening polymerization and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. These NPs can be used to formulate lipophilic drugs that are barely soluble in water, such as trabectedin, a potent anticancer therapeutic. Its biodistribution and antitumor activity have been compared with the commercially available formulation Yondelis®. The results indicate that this trabectedin NP formulation performs with the same antitumor activity as Yondelis®, but does not have the drawback of severe local vascular toxicity in the injection site.

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