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Dr. You-Yeon Won awarded Trask Innovation funding for advanced tumor research

Davidson School of Chemical Engineering Professor You-Yeon Won was recently awarded $37,149 from the Purdue Trask Innovation Fund for development of a radiation-controlled drug-release formulation that is shown to improve the treatment of locally advanced head and neck tumors more effectively for some patients. More than 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with these cancers annually. The formulation allows toxicity and side effects associated with chemo-radiation to be minimized by encapsulating the drug with radiation-degradable capsules and injecting this formation into the patient's tumor before normal radiation. Dr. Won's research is being conducted in collaboration with the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Davidson School of Chemical Engineering Professor You-Yeon Won was recently awarded $37,149 from the Purdue Trask Innovation Fund for development of a radiation-controlled drug-release formulation that is shown to improve the treatment of locally advanced head and neck tumors more effectively for some patients. More than 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with these cancers annually.

The formulation allows toxicity and side effects associated with chemo-radiation to be minimized by encapsulating the drug with radiation-degradable capsules and injecting this formation into the patient’s tumor before normal radiation. Dr. Won’s research is being conducted in collaboration with the Indiana University School of Medicine.

“All previous commercial formulations are not optimized for releasing drugs directly at the tumor under radiation,” said Dr. Won. “Our formulation has more control and could also be applied to any type of solid tumor, such as those in the breast, prostate, lungs or liver.”

Dr. Won’s study, Radioluminescent nanoparticles for radiation-controlled release of drugs, is published in a recent issue of the Journal of Controlled Release. The findings show that the formulation is successful in cancer cell culture experiments, in-vivo animal models, and mathematical simulations of patient data. The next step for the research team is to test the formulation in dogs that naturally have head and neck cancer.

The Trask Innovation Fund award will be used to evaluate the performance against commercial off-the-shelf formulations, and also to further optimize the formulation in order to move forward into FDA IND-enabling studies.

The formulation has been patented via the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The work is supported by various entities, including the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research and the Purdue Research Foundation TRASK Innovation Fund. As part of the Office of Technology Commercialization, the Trask Innovation Fund assists faculty by supporting research projects that will enhance commercial value of Purdue University intellectual property assets.

Dr. You-Yeon Won’s research lab focuses on developing local therapies for cancer and respiratory diseases, and also improving drug and gene delivery in the body. Learn more about Dr. Won at https://engineering.purdue.edu/ChE/people/ptProfile?resource_id=11263.

Read the Purdue News press release announcing the spring 2019 Trask Innovation Fund recipients at https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q3/150,000-in-funding-to-advance,-commercialize-purdue-innovations.html.

 

Source: Dr. You-Yeon Won, yywon@purdue.edu, (765) 494-4077.