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ZenCapsule

ZenCapsule

A biotechnology company founded in 2018 and based at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) that develops drug delivery systems for treating cancer.

ZenCapsule is focused on local and targeted delivery of immune checkpoint inhibitors, also known as checkpoint blockade agents. The binding of immune checkpoint protein receptors, expressed on the surface of cytotoxic T-cells, to their ligands helps cancer cells evade death by cytotoxic T cells, a type of white blood cell that kills cancer cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors prevent receptor to ligand binding which disrupt signalling and improves survival for adults with solid tumors.

ZenCapsule has a system for conjugating immune checkpoint inhibitors to the surface of platelets, which when infused into patients targets surgical wound sites acting to inhibit tumor recurrence and metastasis. Their formulation can also be delivered to the bone marrow to treat leukemia.

Other ZenCapsule products in development include injectable/sprayable biodegradable gels to control the localized release of immune checkpoint inhibitors and transdermal microneedle patches that can deliver immune checkpoint inhibitors or cancer vaccine antigens for melanoma treatment.

Founder Zhen Gu published in Nature Biomedical Engineering in 2018, a system that tethers platelets carrying a PD-1 antibody, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, to hematopoetic stem cells, which enable the treatment to be delivered to the bone marrow to treat leukemia.

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Zhen Gu

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