Beginning in the early 1990s, our team of scientists and consultants conducted research studies at research laboratories developed by the nonprofit foundation, Let there Be Hope Medical Research Foundation, culminating in 2004 and 2005 with two U.S. and International patents directed at site-specific intracellular targeting of key immune cells, as well as evolutionarily conserved families of cells.
Because HIV and Hepatitis C viruses establish long-term reservoirs that evade complete eradication with gold standard antiviral therapies, we directed our studies at the development of a nanocarrier to specifically target cell surface receptors of the immune system, to mimic the virus’ means of entry. The nanocarrier was embedded with a carbohydrate molecule on its surface, similar to the viral envelope carbohydrates employed by pathogens for attachment to key immune reservoir cells. This enabled cellular entry by the same pathway employed by various viral pathogens, such as HIV and HCV, thereby entering the intracellular compartments where long-term dormant, non-replicating infectious viruses were known to reside. Within these compartments, the nanocarrier released its therapeutic contents. In our first experiments, the agent delivered by the CLR-TargoSphere® was a plant lectin which agglutinated all intracellular viruses and completely eliminated infection without causing toxicity to the infected cells. Thus, this technology proved to offer the potential for elimination of multiple other chronic viral diseases, and gave us the data we needed to pursue CLR-TargoSphere® encapsulation of a number of other therapeutic agents.
Rodos BioTarget GmbH in Germany subsequently developed the CLR-TargoSphere® as a therapeutic platform technology that could be utilized for vaccine developments, autoimmune diseases, cancers, and neurodegenerative disorders in addition to infectious diseases.
Because this targeting technology enables therapeutic immune modulation of key immune cells, in 2009, the technology was sold by Let there Be Hope Medical Research Foundation, to Rodos BioTarget GmbH in Hannover, Germany, a startup biotechnology company, in order to fund and spearhead clinical development of the CLR-TargoSphere® for treatments for Tuberculosis, Hepatitis C, HIV, allergy, autoimmune diseases, and vaccine development for endemic infectious diseases such as Malaria.
Subsequently, Augustus BioTarget, Inc. was established in the US to focus exclusively on developing CLR-TargoSphere® therapeutics for cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.
The first in-vivo preclinical Proof of Concept trial in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model has been established to begin in July 2015 in collaboration with scientists at Rodos BioTarget GmbH in Hannover, Germany, as well as the University of Catania in Italy.