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Leonardo Receives $2.5M Grant from Texas Technology-Development Fund


Arrowhead Research this week said that its subsidiary Leonardo Biosystems has received a $2.5 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to support the company's development of a proprietary drug-delivery system.

Leonardo, which had been expecting the funding, intends to use the money to ramp up its operations with the goal of securing industry partnerships around its so-called multi-stage delivery approach (GSN 5/27/2010).

The technology involves multi-stage system comprising mesoporous silicon particles containing neutral nanoliposomes carrying a drug payload.

In May, Leonardo Co-founder and University of Texas Health Science Center researcher Mauro Ferrari reported in Cancer Research how the system was able to deliver siRNAs targeting the oncoprotein EphA2 into two mouse models of ovarian cancer.

“Leonardo’s proprietary nanoparticle delivery system is designed to overcome the body’s natural defense mechanisms, which make it difficult or impossible to effectively deliver many promising therapeutics, especially in cancer," Leonardo CEO Bruce Given said in a statement. "This award from the ETF allows us to keep this crucial technology in Texas, where we hope to develop it to its full potential.”