Drug delivery systems are critical for in vivo applications of developed therapeutics and disease treatments. However, the matrix of the majority of the drug delivery system developed in nearly half a century is based on chemically synthesized polymers, whereas the immunogenicity and potential toxicity of drug carriers significantly impact their safety for in vivo applications, impeding clinical translation.
Quanyin Hu has been focusing on addressing critical issues in impeding the clinical translation of traditional drug delivery systems. His invention is to leverage the human endogenous platelets as the drug delivery platform to address clinical translation hurdles, including immunogenicity, potential safety issues, and scale-up manufacturing.
For the first time, Hu put forward a drug delivery concept by leveraging endogenous platelets as the delivery platform and developed a series of platelet-based drug delivery strategies for various disease treatments. Platelets, as one of the most important blood cells, will not be attacked by immune systems due to “self-recognition” features, which will substantially extend the circulation time of the delivered therapeutics. Based on the platelet-based drug delivery platform, he put forward a delivery concept and technology called “cell combination therapy,” in which two or more distinct cells with different functionalities were assembled together based on the rationale of therapeutic needs for various disease treatments. He successfully created the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)- platelet combination therapy for relapsed acute myeloid leukemia treatment and e further applied the concept of “cell combination therapy” for overcoming the limitations of CAR-T therapy against solid tumors.
Beyond the platelet-based drug delivery system, Hu also created the bacteria-based delivery systems. By taking advantage of bacteria's inherent tumor-homing properties, Hu revealed the detailed working mechanism of bacteria-induced cell pyroptosis inside the tumor cells and leverage this mechanism to treat multiple tumor models. Besides, he developed mucoadhesive orally delivered probiotics to modulate the dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota for treating inflammatory bowel diseases. He has applied for three patents based on bacteria-based delivery systems and is now discussing with industrial companies for potential patent licensing and further collaboration on clinical translation.