STARS Grantee: Gianfranco Pasut

Stars UnipdProject: iNCANT


Gianfranco Pasut


Department: Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences

Total Contribution: Euro 140.000

Call: STARS-2017-WiC

Project Duration in months: 24

Start Date: 01/03/2018
End Date: 29/02/2020

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iNCANT - Versatile Non-Covalent ANtibody drug conjugates for Therapy and diagnosis

Classic anticancer drugs are very potent agents but suffer of a lack of selectivity towards the tumor cells and often the outcome of the therapy is hampered by their general toxicities. Thanks to the “Talent Stars” project, I am investigating how the high selectivity of antibodies can be further exploited for directing the toxicity of these classic cytotoxic drugs toward their target. Antibodies are already exploited for the delivery of anticancer drugs, in the forms of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) that are already in clinical use.

Although the great results reached by this approach, ADCs are not yet the best solution owing some intrinsic limitations, like their heterogeneity and complex preparation. In this view, this project has been directed toward the development of protein-drug conjugates that are designed to interact with the specific antibodies, that are able to recognize tumor antigens. So, it will be possible to easily arm any anti-cancer antibody with an additional and strong cytotoxic activity.

Such approach will offer a unique opportunity to easily tune the therapy on the basis of patient’s needs. Furthermore, the relevant feature of selectivity of antibodies are exploited, in this project, for the targeting of drug-loaded liposomes, thus allowing the delivery of increased cargo of anticancer drugs to the target cancer site.