Cristal Therapeutics Awarded Horizon 2020 Grant to Further Develop the CriPec® Nanomedicine Platform

  • Horizon 2020 INNOSUP grant allows the funding of a highly skilled and experienced researcher (Innovation Associate) to develop and implement state-of-art (bio)analytical methodologies for further understanding of the biological behaviour of CriPec® nanomedicines

Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2nd July 2020 – Cristal Therapeutics, a phase 2 clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing targeted nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high unmet patient need, announces that it has secured a Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme grant. The grant will be used to hire an Innovation Associate who will work on the implementation of innovative (bio)analytical techniques with high spatial resolution to better understand the microdistribution and local behaviour of CriPec® nanomedicines within the tumour microenvironment (TME).

CriPec® nanomedicines are rationally designed to target specific tissue, cells and intracellular components in the body at disease sites, and are applicable to a broad range of drug modalities. The improved therapeutic profile of CriPec® nanomedicines has been clinically validated by demonstrating an improved tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile, and a 4-fold increased tumour exposure of the entrapped drug.

The current project will be performed in close collaboration with the division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry at the M4I Institute, Maastricht University ( where state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches are developed and applied for biomedical research. In more detail, the focus is on the establishment and qualification of mass-spectrometry imaging-based techniques to evaluate CriPec® nanoparticle microlocalisation and drug release in complex biological matrices such as tumours. These techniques will provide Cristal Therapeutics’ expert team with critical new insights to optimally design the highly tuneable CriPec® nanomedicines to achieve superior therapeutic profiles.

Cristianne Rijcken, PharmD PhD and founder and CSO of Cristal Therapeutics said: “We are delighted to have been granted another European grant. In our former Horizon SME INTACT grant, we successfully developed 89Zr labelled CriPec® nanoparticles to enable non-invasive imaging. In the Piccolo trial as performed at the VUMC hospital (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) unique insights into the overall biodistribution were generated. More specifically, a significantly increased tumour uptake of CriPec® nanomedicines was demonstrated in cancer patients, thereby truly demonstrating their advantageous behaviour.

In the current ICARUS grant, the aim is to get closer insights into the local distribution of CriPec® nanomedicines in the tumour tissue itself, including a better understanding of the release kinetics of the drugs entrapped in these nanomedicines. Applying the innovative mass spectrometry imaging techniques as developed by M4I will further increase our understanding of the actual intratumoural behaviour of CriPec® nanomedicines, and will provide directions to further improve CriPec® compositions enabling optimal patient benefits as well as a clear competitive edge.

More information on the Innovation Associate position now available at Cristal Therapeutics can be found on our careers page.


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About Cristal Therapeutics

Cristal Therapeutics is a phase 2 clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing targeted nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high unmet patient need and considerable commercial potential. The company’s product candidates are based on its proprietary CriPec® polymeric nanoparticle technology platform, which enables the design of customized nanomedicines with superior therapeutic profiles. CriPec® based products have the potential to provide enhanced efficacy and reduced side effect profiles, thus offering improved disease treatment.

The company’s lead product, CPC634, is currently in clinical phase 2. The company has several other programmes in preclinical development, partially with partners, focussed on the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Cristal Therapeutics is a private company that has raised over €20M equity financing to date. The Company’s headquarters and laboratories are located in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

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For more information, please contact:

Cristal Therapeutics:

Cristianne Rijcken, PharmD PhD

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

T + 31 43 388 5868