Immune checkpoint inhibition in syngeneic mouse cancer models by a silicasome nanocarrier delivering a GSK3 inhibitor

Checkpoint blocking antibodies that interfere in the PD-1/PD-L1 axis provide effective cancer immunotherapy for tumors that are immune inflamed or induced to become "hot". It has also been demonstrated that a small molecule inhibitor of the signaling hub kinase GSK3 can interfere in the PD-1/PD-L1 axis in T-cells by suppressing PD-1 expression. This provides an alternative approach to intervening in the PD-1/PD-L1 axis to provide cancer immunotherapy. In this communication, we demonstrate the remote loading of GSK3 inhibitor AZD1080 into the porous interior of mesoporous silica nanoparticles coated with a lipid bilayer (a.k.a. silicasomes). In a MC38 colon cancer model, intravenous injection (IV) of silicasome-encapsulated AZD1080 significantly improved biodistribution and drug delivery to the tumor site. The improved drug delivery was accompanied by cytotoxic MC38 tumor cell killing by perforin-releasing CD8+ T-cells, exhibiting reduced PD-1 expression. IV injection of encapsulated AZD1080 also resulted in significant tumor shrinkage in other syngeneic mouse tumor models, including another colorectal tumor (CT26), as well as pancreas (KPC) and lung (LLC) cancer models. Not only was the therapeutic efficacy of encapsulated AZD1080 similar or better than anti-PD-1 antibody, but the treatment was devoid of treatment toxicity. These results provide proof-of-principal demonstration of the feasibility of using encapsulated delivery of a GSK3 inhibitor to provide cancer immunotherapy, with the possibility to be used as a monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy or other immunomodulatory agents.

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Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S7145 AZD1080 AZD1080 is a selective, orally active, brain permeable GSK3 inhibitor, inhibits human GSK3α and GSK3β with Ki of 6.9 nM and 31 nM, respectively, shows >14-fold selectivity against CDK2, CDK5, CDK1 and Erk2. (6)

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