Nano-gold is a small object composed of gold and, which has one-, two-, or three-dimensions on the nanoscale, i.e., a sheet, a rod, or a particle. For the purpose of our discussion nano-gold refers to the gold moiety alone, while nano-construct infers a moiety that consists of a core of nano-gold to which has been adsorbed or covalently bound a biomolecule or xenobiotic (drug, therapeutic, analytic), forming a more or less defined overall structure. A nano-gold construct formulation defines the character and often the proportions of bound entities to the nanoscale gold core.
Dr. Chia-Nan (Alex) Chen, the CEO of GNT Biotech & Medicals Corporation, based out of Taiwan, speaks with The Biotechnician about the state of nano-gold and its use in therapy, and how he and his team are attempting to bring it to the public one step at a time.
Dr. Chen-Nano-gold is a novel technology and the development of Nano medicine with nano-gold as carrier to deliver drugs has been proceeded about a decade. In the area of cancer therapy, nano-gold-based nano-medicines are still in stage of preclinical or clinical trial, and will be approved for the market in about five years.
Of course, we believe it has significant market potential to represent the next stage in the evolution of targeted therapies and nano-medicine.
The Biotechnician-What do you think are the benefits of using nano-gold oppose to other types of treatments?
Dr. Chen-The nano-medicines, developed by varieties of drug delivery platforms which apply nano-carriers including lipid-, polymer-or nano-gold-based nanoparticles, can improve the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics drugs. Nano-gold-based nanoparticles are more biocompatible and less immunogenic than the others. GNTbm’s nano-medicines are designed to be a medicine of targeted therapy. Targeted drug is intended to reduce the side effects of drugs with concomitant decreases in consumption and treatment frequency. In addition, GNTbm’s nano-gold is made from 99.99 % gold by PVD process. It’s purer than other nano-golds made by chemistry process.
The Biotechnician-What are some of the concerns doctors have using nano-gold for therapy?
Dr. Chen-Actually, None of nano-gold-based nano-medicines has been approved and on the market yet. But we think that doctors will be concerned to the safety of nano-gold. About safety, we had tested in an animal experiment level, in which mice were injected with multiple high doses of nano-gold, and demonstrate that nano-gold has no toxicity to the animals. In addition, we have received certification of compliance to the European Union's food additive regulation E175 and Taiwan’s food additive regulation for its edible gold flake products.
Dr. Chen-On the market, the nano-medicines are more expensive than traditional chemotherapeutic drugs. For Example, the NHI price of Lipo-Doxis NTD 12,226 per vial land that of doxorubic in is from NTD 515 to 4,118 per vial in Taiwan.
The Biotechnician-How does Vaucarrin and why is it better than other options?
Dr. Chen-Vaucarrin, GNTbm’s proprietary platform, utilizes PVD (physical vapor deposition) process to produce gold nanoparticles that incorporate therapeutic payload and targeting agent and are engineered to have prolonged circulation within the bloodstream, enable specific targeting to the diseased tissue or cells. Vaucarrin offers a superior therapeutic strategy that remedies the nidus.
The Biotechnician-What stage of development is Vaucarrin in?
Dr. Chen-Vaucarrin is GNTbm’s proprietary platform. By this platform, we have two on-going new drug projects, Gbm12401 and Gbm12407, in the field of breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. They are both in preclinical stage. We believe that Vaucarrin is an excellent drug delivery platform to create pioneering nano-medicines in the next stage of evolution of targeted therapies.
The Biotechnician-When do you think Vaucarrin will be used more by hospitals across the world?
Dr. Chen-Vaucarrin is an excellent drug delivery platform. We focus on the R&D of GNTbm nano-gold-based new formulations of drugs, and will provide tailored services of our platform for our customers. And for the new drug approval, it is essential to enter clinical trials to prove the efficacy and safety before prescription for disease treatment.