WARF: P100278US02

Biocompatible Formulations of Poorly Soluble Anticancer Drugs Such as Gossypol


Glen Kwon, Ho-Chul Shin, Hyunah Cho

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing stable and biocompatible drug formulations that improve the bioavailability of combinations of poorly soluble drugs like gossypol, paclitaxel, 17-AAG and cyclopamine without causing toxicity.
OVERVIEWMany powerful drugs have only limited usefulness because they are relatively insoluble in aqueous solutions. For example, gossypol has been identified as an effective inhibitor of Bcl-2 proteins, which play a role in apoptosis, but is difficult to deliver to tumor sites in vivo because of its low solubility.

In addition, many cancer treatment strategies have shifted to combination drug therapy. It's hoped that the ability to safely and simultaneously deliver multiple drugs to target several cancer-related pathways at one time will improve the efficacy of treatment. However, combining two or three drugs can be challenging in clinical practice due to the differing solubilities and modes of delivery of the therapeutics.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed biocompatible micelles loaded with gossypol or combinations of gossypol and other anticancer drugs such as paclitaxel, 17-AAG and cyclopamine. These drug formulations are stable and provide improved bioavailability without causing toxicity. They enable the intravenous delivery of cancer therapeutics like gossypol that are poorly soluble in water.
  • Drug delivery
  • Cancer treatment
  • Enables safe and simple intravenous delivery of gossypol or combinations of gossypol and other anticancer therapeutics
  • Effectively solubilizes drug combinations without the need for additional, potentially toxic surfactants
  • Provides a drug delivery system capable of solubilizing Bcl-2 inhibitors such as gossypol
  • Micelles may consist of poloxamer 188, which is biocompatible and an FDA-approved polymer.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Rafael Diaz at or 608-960-9847.
The WARF Advantage

WARF: A Leader in Technology Transfer Since 1925
Since its founding as a private, nonprofit affiliate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, WARF has provided patent and licensing services to UW–Madison and worked with commercial partners to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.

The University of Wisconsin and WARF –
A Single Location to Accelerate Translational Development of New Drugs

UW–Madison has the integrative capabilities to complete many key components of the drug development cycle, from discovery through clinical trials. As one of the top research universities in the world, and one of the two best-funded universities for research in the country, UW–Madison offers state-of-the-art facilities unmatched by most public universities.

These include the Small Molecule Screening Facility at the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station, which provides consulting and laboratory services for developing formulations and studying solubility, stability and more; the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility; the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research, which provides UW–Madison with a complete translational research facility; and the innovative, interdisciplinary Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, home to the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and its public twin, WID, part of the university's graduate school. The highly qualified experts at these facilities are ready to work with you to create a library of candidates for drug development.