13th European and Global CLINAM-Summit

The 13th European and Global CLINAM-Summit took place as online event from May 2 to May 4, 2022: "From Hope to Product  -The Brilliant Prospect in Nanomedicine and Related Fields".

How Many Hopes and Predictions of Development Came True?

The CLINAM Summit, as a globally unique clinical event with members from more than 40 countries brings together since 2008 all stakeholders in nanomedicine, targeted medicine, and precision medicine. Out of the over 2000 interventions from 2008 to date, there are many predictions of near and far-terms of projects, diagnoses, therapy, research, and development of materials and devices. What was achieved? At CLINAM 2022, former invited speakers look back and present their results of today. “From hope to achievements” shall show how brilliant the future in nanomedicine is. Often “nanomedicine” was said to be hype. Today we know that nanotechnology in medicine is the indispensable discipline and ground for further change in health care for all.

Download the full program.

What are the hot topics in Nanomedicine?

The meeting highlighted recent groundbreaking achievements in the last two years. The rapid development of vaccines for COVID-19 opened up novel arenas of cooperation between researchers, developers, and even between usually competing companies with the regulatory frame authorities. The unseen and revolutionary protective wall against COVID -19 by novel vaccines gives outlook and hope for a profound acceleration of novel drug development in the near future to the benefit of patients. Novel technologies are investigated for applicability to enable and improve health care in countries where therapy until today is unaffordable. Personalized Nanomedicine is the core competence for this. Drug development will be done in novel pathways!

What were the Focus Topics 2022?

  • Nanoparticles and the Immune System
  • Extracellular Vesicles in Nanomedicine
  • Nanomedical Treatment of Rare Diseases
  • Nano vaccines - from Packaging to Targeting and Controlled Degradation
  • RNA-Based Drugs Against Multiple Diseases
  • RNA-LNP based therapeutics
  • Theranostic Concepts in Immunotherapy
  • Molecular Modalities for Previously Undruggable Intra-cellular Biological Targets
  • Late-Breaking and Ongoing Trials in Nanomedicine
  • Novel standards of Therapy for Diseases by Personalized Nanomedicine
  • Non-biological Complex Drug Products Development
  • Against Antibiotic Resistance with Lipids
  • Regulatory Matters and Regulatory Authorities Meeting
  • Lessons learned from the experience during development and clinical use of Nano-drugs
  • Bioethical problems raised during the Corona pandemic
  • Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing

Scientific Committee

  • Prof. Dr. med. Patrick Hunziker, University Hospital Basel (CH) (chairman)
  • Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Alexiou, University Hospital Erlangen (D)
  • Prof. Dr. Lajos (Lou) Balogh, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Precision Nanomedicine (CLINAM Journal PRNANO), Boston (USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Yechezkel (Chezy) Barenholz, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem (IL)
  • Prof. Dr. med. Omid Farokhzad, Director, Center for Nanomedicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston (USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Twan Lammers, DSc, Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging, RWTH Aachen, Aachen (D)
  • Prof. Dr. med. Dong Soo Lee, Ph.D. Chairman, Department of Nuclear Medicine Seoul National University (KOR)
  • Dr. med. h.c. Beat Löffler, MA, CEO, CLINAM-Foundation, Basel (CH) (Programme & Realization)
  • Prof. Dr. med. Marisa Papaluca Amati, Former European Medicines Agency, London (UK)
  • Prof. Dr. André Nel, M.B. Ch.B., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Director California NanoSystems Institute, Chief of Nanomedicine and Director, Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, UCLA, Los Angeles (USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Gerrit (Gert) Storm, Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University (NL)
  • Prof. Dr. Viola Vogel, Laboratory for Biologically Oriented Materials, ETH, Zürich (CH)

Workshop by Phospholipid Research Center

The Phospholipid Research Center joined CLINAM-Summit. On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, there was a session about "The History and Future of Lipids—the Building Blocks of the Structure and Function of Living Cells and their Role in Drug Delivery".

Abstract

Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) and liposomes are the most advanced drug delivery system. Numerous LNP and liposomal drugs have been approved by regulatory authorities over the past decades, and we now have a wide variety of lipid-based nanoparticle formulations for multiple applications. In nanomedicine, LNPs and liposomes are probably the best choice for cargo transport because they fulfill many of the necessary aspects of a drug delivery vehicle. Frankly, without lipids, there would be no light-speed and efficient COVID-19 vaccine. This session will elucidate the evolution of (phospho)lipids and discuss the future potential for lipid-based drug delivery in therapy.

PD Dr. habil. Simon Drescher (PRC, Heidelberg, Germany): The Phospholipid Research Center — Current Research in Phospholipids and their Use in Drug Delivery

Prof. em. Dr. Alfred Fahr (Institute of Pharmacy, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany): Why did Father Universe and Mother Nature beget Lipids?

PD Dr. Peter van Hoogevest (Consultant and PRC, Heidelberg, Germany): Liposomes and LNPs: the Best Nanotechnology?

Prof. Dr. med. Alberto A. Gabizon (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel): Drug co-encapsulation in Lipid Nanoparticles for a Multimodality Approach to Cancer Therapy

PD Dr. Simon Drescher

Dr. Drescher introduced the Phospholipid Research Center, its mission, and showed a few illustrative examples of parenteral use of phospholipids. The focus of the seminar of Dr. Drescher was on projects that have been approved by the PRC since 2018 and are currently still ongoing or have been recently completed. The different projects cover all facets of phospholipid research: from basic to applied research, including the use of phospholipids in various forms of application such as liposomes, mixed micelles, emulsions, and extrudates, up to industrial application-oriented research. The presented projects presented also include all route of administration, namely topical, oral, and parenteral. In the final discussion he informed on the research funding application procedure in detail.

Prof. Dr. Alfred Fahr

Prof. Fahr presented several hypotheses on how phospholipids could be formed from their probable evolution precursors fatty acids. It is likely that materials coming from meteorites (e.g. catalysts; iron nickel phosphide mineral, (Fe,Ni)3P, common in iron-nickel meteorites; and upon corrosion phosphate is accessible) have played as significant role in converting fatty acids into phospholipids. As soon phospholipids were available, spontaneously vesicles were formed, encapsulating particular compounds, so creating a specific inter vesicular conditions, which could evolve in billions of years into natural cells. During this evolution, phospholipids acquired astonishing abilities that go far beyond compartment-forming properties. For example, liposomes can release another enclosed liposome in response to a purely physical stimulus or when phospholipids aggregate to form liposomes, proteins are concentrated in great density in the liposome. In medicine today, liposomes are used in many forms as successful drug carriers. The disadvantage of the fragility of liposomes, often claimed by died-in-the-wool chemists, is mostly irrelevant and often surpasses the functionality of polymer or other particles. If the amazing properties of phospholipids, which have only been briefly hinted at here, can be exploited in future drug carriers, phospholipid-containing vesicle systems have an even greater potential.

The seminar of Prof. Fahr suggested that phospholipids and liposomes are optimized by billion years of evolution. Is therefore not a surprise that these substances and resulting vesicles show an excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability, what makes them to superb materials for nanomedicine.

PD Dr. Peter van Hoogevest

Dr. van Hoogevest summarized the status of marketed liposome products including their annual sales. He mentioned the unique features of liposomes compared to other nano-carriers and the availability of GMP – pharmaceutical grade phospholipids at large quantities, enabling fast development of innovative parenteral drug carriers based on phospholipids. Liposomes are clearly nowadays the prominent intravenous carriers in nanomedicine. It was concluded that the nanotechnology field can learn from the ‘liposome experience’ and should seriously consider the challenges and opportunities which biology brings to the table of nanomedicine designers.

Prof. Dr. Alberto Gabizon

Prof. Gabizon gave a seminar on a new liposomal formulation, combining two co-encapsulated drugs: alendronate (ALD) and doxorubicin (DOX), a potent chemotherapeutic agent with non-overlapping mechanisms of activity and toxicity, which could lead to a chemo-immunotherapeutic, multimodality platform, with major pharmacologic advantages. In vitro cytotoxicity tests in several human and murine cancer cell lines indicated greater potency for PLAD (phospholipid + alendronate + doxorubicin) compared to Doxil. The in vivo antitumor efficacy of PLAD was investigated in a multidrug resistant mouse tumor model and in a mouse sarcoma model. PLAD was superior to Doxil and free DOX in the growth inhibition of tumor implants at study endpoint. PLAD was also superior Doxil + liposomal ALD (applied in two separated liposomal formulations) in triple negative mouse breast cancer cells, which is remarkable.

Prof. Gabizon concluded that the results open the way for further development of PLAD towards clinical applications of a unique product that blends chemotherapeutic and immune-boosting properties.