Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Nanoscale Science

Advisor/Committee Chair

Sarah A. Engelberth

Committee Member

Nadine Hempel


Project Summary Technical Abstract This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project, presented by Talamo Inc., is to test an ovarian cancer therapeutic delivery system, comprised of a nanoscale biocompatible vesicle that carries a bioactive small interfering RNA molecule (siRNA), in vivio in mice. The siRNA has shown to reduce the expression of an enzyme (Sod2) that is highly expressed in multiple ovarian cancer types. The reduced expression of Sod2 will allow the tumor to become increasingly susceptible to chemotherapy agents, while simultaneously diminishing tumor progression. Research has proved that the nanoscale vesicle is non-toxic and in combination with siRNA effectively reduced Sod2 expression, in vitro, in ovarian cancer cells. Based upon these findings Talamo, Inc. plans to move forward to in vivo mice testing. It is necessary to prove that the nanoscale vesicle system is effective in inhibiting Sod2 expression and is also non-toxic in mice. The funds from phase I of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant will allow Talamo, Inc. to proceed with in vivo mice testing. The anticipated results are that the mice given the therapy will have smaller tumors and lower Sod2 levels than the control group. Commercialization Abstract This neoadjuvant therapy has great commercial potential. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of the gynecologic cancers. There will be 14,030 deaths in 2013 from ovarian cancer and ranks as the 10th most common cancer among women. This therapy would be administered to a patient as soon as she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Immediate therapy would slow the tumor progression and increase sensitivity to chemotherapy agents. This would allow physicians more time to proactively treat or to remove the tumors. Thus, the survival rates of patients with clear cell carcinoma will increase. Talamo Inc. has established conditional collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, if the nanoscale delivery system is proven to be non-toxic and effective at inhibiting Sod2 in mice. Thus, it is imperative for Talamo, Inc. to be awarded this SBIR Phase I grant in order to fund in vivo mice testing. If the results from the in vivo mice testing prove favorable, Bristol-Myers Squibb will fund Phase 1 FDA clinical trials in conjunction with the $1,000,000 SBIR Phase II award. Once this therapy has been brought to market, after passing Phase 1-3 FDA clinical trials, Talamo Inc. will use its profits to fund future R&D for nanoscale delivery wesicles to be used to treat other cancers that also exhibit high levels of Sod2.