MM-302 is a HER2-targeted nanotherapeutic consisting of the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin, encapsulated in a liposomal sphere. Doxorubicin has been a standard therapy for the treatment of breast cancer for more than 30 years. Despite the demonstrated efficacy of this therapy, its use is limited due to an increased incidence of cardiotoxicity in individuals repeatedly exposed to the free form of the drug. By the encapsulation of doxorubicin inside of a liposome, MM-302 is designed to minimize exposure of healthy tissues such as the heart, while exposure is simultaneously maximized to cancerous tissues. In preclinical models, once MM-302 is deposited in the tumor microenvironment,proprietary HER2 targeting technology utilizes HER2-targeting antibodies on the surface of the liposome bind to HER2-expressing cancer cells, promoting the internalization of the entire liposome. Once inside the cancer cell, the liposome breaks down and releases doxorubicin intracellularly, promoting cell death.
Unlike other HER2-targeted agents, MM-302 is not designed to inhibit HER2 signaling pathways and relies on HER2 as a means to identify and gain access to the cancer cells. The potential benefit of this approach is to leave this critical pathway, which is essential for healthy cells, still functional, thereby limiting damage and reducing side effects to non-cancerous cells.
Currently, MM-302 is being tested in a Phase 1 clinical study for patients with HER2+ breast cancer. Based on our research, future clinical studies will explore MM-302’s potential in other types of HER2+ cancers, tumors with leaky vasculatures and in combination with other targeted agents.
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