Red blood cell-hitchhiking to boost delivery of antivirals and immunotherapies to the lungs

Researchers in Samir Mitragotri’s lab have developed a way to traffic therapeutics directly to the lungs following routine intravenous injection and hope to apply the technology to treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pneumonia, principle causes of death among patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The team is seeking industrial collaboration with antiviral or immunotherapy manufacturers to enable robust, direct, and efficient therapeutic delivery to sites of viral infection.

Research demonstrates that clearance of immune cell accumulation caused by ARDS can dramatically improve patient prognoses. The strategy represents a promising strategy for reducing COVID-19 mortality. However, targeted delivery of therapeutics to the lungs remains a challenge.

The Mitragotri group believes that they can tackle this issue through their newly developed technology that conjugates drug nanoparticles and red blood cells. When injected intravenously, the therapeutic traffics specifically to lungs while avoiding systemic deposition. The team believes that this method of targeting the lungs targeting is the best in class and can be quickly adapted to deliver antivirals and immunotherapies to patients suffering from COVID-19.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending