The trial tested the Nanocure formulation P80DOX-NP on eight metastatic malignancies. P80DOX-NP is a novel method for delivering the drug doxorubicin across the blood-brain barrier - a network of blood vessels and cells that protect the brain and prevent certain molecules from passing through.

Nanocure consists of a nanoparticle of poly(butylcyanoacrylate) polymer coated with a layer of doxorubicin and a layer of polysorbate-80. Once Nanocure enters the bloodstream, the polysorbate-80 coating attracts apolipoproteins. These proteins coat the nanoparticles and, as a result, the blood-brain barrier treats the particles as if they were low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) - a form of cholesterol.

Advectus says that there was an excellent dose-response curve for all cancer cell lines tested. The company also claims that doses delivered as doxorubicin and doses delivered as nanoparticles were equally effective, indicating that the drug did not lose its effectiveness during nanoparticle formulation or shipping.

Advectus and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that they were to collaborate on the tests in early June. The second phase of the trial, which will test cancer metastases in rodent brains is due to begin shortly. If that is successful, clinical trials on human patients should result.