U.S. Biotechnologist Robert Langer Named European Inventor Award 2016…

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Robert Langer

Robert Langer’s invention unlocks a new epoch of medical treatments as a absolute arms opposite cancer.

The European Patent Office (EPO) currently announced that M.I.T. Professor Robert Langer has been named as one of 3 finalists for a European Inventor Award 2016 in a difficulty “Non-European countries.” The winners of a 11th book of a EPO’s annual creation esteem will be announced during a rite in Lisbon on Jun 9th.

A new epoch of anti-cancer drugs “starves” tumors by interrupting their tie to a body’s blood supply. But as a downside, these supposed angiogenesis inhibitors remove potency while roving a bloodstream before reaching tumors. A “smart” drug smoothness process invented by American biotechnologist Robert Langer (67) solves a problem. It encapsulates cancer-starving drugs within “wafers” combined out of biodegradable plastics. Implanted right during a expansion site, they disintegrate for targeted release. And, cancer-fighting drugs are unequivocally usually a commencement for a M.I.T. highbrow who is regarded as a colonize in an rising margin of medical technologies. Langer’s bioplastics can also be made into ingestible capsules, cardiovascular stents, and into “scaffolding” ancillary a expansion of new physique tissue.

“Robert Langer’s invention unlocks a new epoch of medical treatments as a absolute arms opposite cancer,” pronounced EPO President Benoît Battistelli announcing a European Inventor Award 2016 finalists. “On a approach to a medicine of a future, a judgment of biodegradable plastics provides doctors with new and formerly inconceivable approaches that are already changing diagnosis outcomes around a world.”


Thanks to Langer’s innovation, doctors now have a absolute arms opposite an assertive form of mind cancer famous as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBM is both quite formidable to yield due a vicinity to healthy hankie and comparatively prevalent: it accounts for 52% of all primary mind tumors. Approved for clinical use in 1996, Langer’s inventive process allows GBM to be targeted during a expansion site, precisely delivering drugs in accurate dosages though exposing healthy hankie to assertive chemicals. The biologically sufferable polymers are now a building blocks for formerly inconceivable diagnosis approaches, generally targeted drug delivery.


The thought of starving tumors with angiogenesis inhibitors is not a new one. As early as 1971, Robert Langer and other physicians saw their intensity for stunting expansion growth. But as tests shortly revealed, a efficacy of angiogenesis inhibitors declines radically when injected or ingested. Plus, in a box of mind tumors, transporting a drugs past a blood-brain separator valid an additional challenge. In sequence to solve a problem, Langer and his organisation during a Massachusetts Institute of Technology envisioned a smoothness matrix that would ride a drugs right where they are needed: a site of a tumor.

After researching a rising margin of bioplastics, Langer zeroed in on supposed Poly(beta-amino ester)s, a family of biodegradable polymers that can be created around nanotechnology into a wafer-like form. During minimally invasive surgery, doctors make a drug-laden wafer subsequent to a tumor, where it is gradually damaged down by a body’s metabolism, thereby releasing a cargo of cancer-starving drugs with limit efficiency. This process not usually avoids a blood-brain separator altogether, though it also solves a second problem: a absolute cancer drugs can have neurotoxic effects – harming healthy mind hankie – if delivered in an untargeted manner.


The creation ushers in a new epoch of targeted therapies for ailments such as carcenogenic tumors and heart disease. Doctors can now confederate absolute drugs into moldable bioplastics wafers that disintegrate during accurately a right plcae to recover their payload. “You get high concentrations in a mind where we wish them,” explains Langer. “And low concentrations in a rest of a physique where it competence means harm.” During Langer’s clinical trials, patients with GBM achieved a presence rate of 63%, compared with 19% in a control group. To date, over 20 million patients worldwide have been treated with angiogenesis-inhibiting substances, and therapies subsequent from Langer’s bioplastics, including drug-coated cardiovascular stents, have benefited some-more than one million.


Robert Langer started his career with a BSc in Chemical Engineering during Cornell University in 1970, followed by his PhD in Chemical Engineering during MIT in 1974. Although his seductiveness in bio-polymers started as a immature researcher, Langer spent roughly 28 years perfecting a implantable bioplastics record after edition his initial commentary – US FDA capitulation final came in 1996 – and he experimented with over 200 variations of polymers during M.I.T.’s Folkman laboratory in a initial dual years alone. Named a most-cited operative in story by Science magazine, a inclusive contriver has authored over 13,000 articles and contributed to 1,100 patents, with inventions stable by 300 curative companies. His publications have been cited over 194,000 times.

A consistent disciple of bridging a opening between investigate and a marketplace, Langer leads a world’s largest biomedical engineering lab – a David H. Koch Institute during M.I.T. – with over EUR 8.9 million (US $10 million) in annual grants and over 100 researchers. His inventions jumpstarted a new category of treatments for GBM, prostate cancers, endometriosis, and mental illnesses with substantial marketplace success. The bioplastics-encapsulated drug Gliadel (GBM) generated sales of around EUR 32.5 million (US $35.8 million) in 2006, Zeneca Zoladex (prostate cancer) netted around EUR 905 million in 2013, and Risperdal Consta (schizophrenia) EUR 1.4 billion in 2014. Third-party analysts design a GBM diagnosis marketplace to grow from about EUR 273 million in 2013 to EUR 566 million by 2020.


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View a patents: EP1639029, EP2075015


Robert Langer’s bioplastic-coated drugs are partial of a new call of medical technologies that yield stable and fit alternatives to radical medicine and assertive chemotherapy. Nano capsules, electron radiation, ultrasound, antibodies, and more: Innovative concepts, stable by patents, are already benefitting patients worldwide.

Read some-more about new weapons opposite cancer.

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