pHLIP Inc. was formed in 2015 to enable pH Low Insertion Peptide (pHLIP) targeted delivery of therapeutic, diagnostic, prophylactic, and research agents to cells in diseased, acidic tissues including cancers (breast, prostate, bladder, melanoma, lymphoma, pancreatic, lung, ovarian, brain) ischemic myocardium, inflammatory arthritis, and stroke.
pHLIP Inc. Co-founders
From left: Dr. Donald Engelman, Dr. Yana Reshetnyak and Dr. Oleg Andreev
“pHLIP Inc. acts as a molecular nanosyringe, inserting itself into the cell membrane and injecting compounds into cell,” said co-founder and president, Yana Reshetnyak. “The transported molecules can be therapeutic or toxic to the cell, depending on the intended outcome—for treating cancer, the idea is to cause cell death.” “Acidosis is a physiological marker of many diseases — and pHLIP feels acidity,” said Reshetnyak. “Therefore, pHLIP could also be used for monitoring of disease development and therapeutic outcomes in cancer, arthritis, ischemia and stroke.”
pHLIP technology will detect, target and treat acidic diseased tissue using selective insertion and folding of membrane peptides. The primary application market is oncology.
- Clinical tumor imaging with PET/SPECT-pHLIP tracers on patients with breast and prostate tumors.
- Clinical application of fluorescent pHLIP for Fluorescence-guided surgery and ex vivo imaging/histology.
- Therapeutic applications of pHLIP-based compounds including delivery of approved drugs, new potent polar toxins and gene-regulation agents, such as PNAs (Peptide Nucleic Acids).
The pHLIP-nanotechnology platform will be used for pH-selective targeting of:
- therapeutic or imaging agents to solid tumors, where they are tethered to the surfaces of cancer cells.
- tumor cells for selective delivery of gene regulation agents. Cytoplasmic delivery of cargo molecules attached to pHLIP with a cleavable bond.