LIFNano Therapeutics - introduction

LIF, short for Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor, is a small blood-borne protein functioning to repair damaged tissues throughout the body. LIF's reparative activity is known to include repair of damaged neurons in the central nervous system's brain and spinal cord, making LIF highly attractive as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis and also for neurodegenerative diseases that are linked to inflammation. But the challenge has always been to find a way to target delivery of the LIF to the damaged tissue in sufficient amounts. Here LIFNanoRx's ground-breaking technology means that - for the first time - LIF can be delivered in a controlled and targeted manner for therapy.

Illustration by Nicolle Rager Fuller, NSF

By packaging measured amounts of LIF into tiny "nano" particles, molecular engineering ensures that the particles home to sites of need using a unique particle coating of target-specific antibody. This antibody coating can be designed to pass the particles through the blood-brain-barrier before releasing their cargo of LIF. Preclinical safety data shows that the particles either bind their target or stay in the circulation, rather than become trapped in filter organs, and that they gradually dissolve ending up as carbon dioxide and water. In fact the particle material is the same as that used for soluble stitches used to close surgical operations. Like stitches, they do their job (release LIF at the target site) then disappear.

The LIFNanoRx product is an elegant solution to treat MS: it exploits the body's own repair pathways by precise targeting of LIF to the treatment site. Moreover, since the LIF nanoparticles can be manufactured in bulk and stored until required, global access to therapy becomes possible, in marked contrast to to the relatively expensive, globally restricted and specialised cell-based therapies currently being developed to treat MS.

LIFNanoRx promises a new generation of treatments for currently untreatable diseases using simple and clean technology.