Penn State

Local firm builds on Penn State patent to fight cancer

New possibilities in cancer treatment are being explored in State College.

The project brings together Penn State technology with a private company.

Keystone Nano announced the licensing of the technology that builds on a Penn State patent for a “highly unique cancer therapy.”

According to the company, the patent is for ceramide nanoliposomes. That technical term descibes a process to encapsulate a material and deliver it in a very targeted manner, the kind of thing that could be very beneficial when addressing cancer cells and avoiding healthy cells.

Penn State holds the patent for the technology, which was developed by a team including Keystone Nano chief medical officer Mark Kester as well as Sriram Shanmugavelandy and Todd Fox.

Kester is a former Penn State pharmacology professor now at the University of Virginia. He co-founded Keystone Nano with CEO Jeff Davidson and Chief Science Officer James Adair five years ago. Davidson comes from the Penn State Bioprocessing Resource Center while Adair is director of the Particulate Materials Center at Penn State. Fox is listed as a member of the faculty at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.

Keystone Nano claims the technology “improves the delivery of the compounds by targeting the materials to tumors and by extending the time of biological activity (or therapeutic half-life).” The company said it has conducted “extensive preclinical testing” on the process and is moving toward human clinical tests soon.