The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents almost all medicines from entering the brain and is a major obstacle in the treatment of Alzheimer's, brain cancers and other diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). The Therapeutics Beyond Brain Barriers (TBBB) program works with Canadian and international partners to overcome this challenge by deploying revolutionary carrier molecules that can penetrate the BBB and shuttle therapeutics directly into the CNS.
The program provides expertise in carrier-therapeutic conjugation and fusion, molecular modelling, biomanufacturing and preclinical evaluation that enable industry clients to design and produce CNS biotherapeutics and measure their ability to cross the barrier. The TBBB program aims to attain clinical proof of mechanism and, in the longer-term, achieve proof of concept in order to commercialize new medicines that will target and treat CNS diseases.
"NRC has shown itself to be a master of a wide range of techniques, innovative, practical, patient and dedicated, and it is thanks to this that we are in a position to consider selection of a drug candidate to take forward with confidence. I would not hesitate to work with NRC again in the future".
- Shedding light on the mysteries of brain disease
- Video of Dr. Danica Stanimirovic, Program Leader, Therapeutics Beyond Brain Barriers, presenting carrier molecules that can deliver biologics to the brain at Biotransfer 2014 in Toronto
Collaborate with us
Collaborate with us on strategic research projects to help de-risk your innovative ideas, reduce your start-up costs and accelerate your commercial development timelines.
Biologics are one of the most promising areas of medicine, and there is great potential to expand their reach to treat CNS indications. We are seeking collaborators to work on the following priorities:
- Developing novel CNS-targeting biologics;
- Re-engineering exisiting biotherapeutic pipelines to expand their reach to CNS indications;
- Evaluating blood-brain barrier permeability of client molecules; and
- Developing a pool of biotherapeutic assets for unconventional, difficult targets (ion channels, GPCRs, transporters).
The TBBB program offers unparalleled expertise and leading-edge facilities at three stages of development:
- Blood‑brain barrier carriers: Our BBB carriers can be customized for various types of therapeutic molecules to enable their delivery to the brain. Our expertise in Antibody Generation and Prioritization enables the design and use of single-domain antibodies as BBB carriers for our collaborators' biologics.
- Coupling and conjugation: NRC has experience coupling a variety of therapeutic molecules with its BBB carriers using chemical conjugation strategies as well as bi- and multi-specific fusion proteins and antibodies.
- Evaluating brain penetrating medicines: Translational science is essential to demonstrating brain penetration and efficacy of CNS biologics. Through our Functional Characterization and Analytics expertise, and our Preclinical in vivo Facility, NRC's proprietary BBB and CNS assays and test models are generating critical data for collaborators as they prepare their Investigational New Drug applications.
NRC serves as an R&D extension to our collaborators. We can de-risk product development, add significant value to biologic CNS candidates, and accelerate their progress through every step of the value chain up to early clinical trials.
Our business specialists have established best practices to guide the management and commercialization of intellectual property for co-developed products and enabling technologies.
We observe the rigorous standards set forth by Health Canada's Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate (BGTD), ensuring that all our co-developed products meet their regulatory approval requirements to be sold in Canada and other jurisdictions.
If you're interested in developing biologics that target the CNS, coupling your molecule to NRC carriers, or accessing expertise and models to evaluate blood‑brain barrier delivery of your molecules, contact:
Biopharmaceutical or biotechnology with CNS pipeline, biopharmaceutical or biotechnology with pipeline that can be re‑purposed for CNS, drug delivery companies, contract research organizations.
- Therapeutics Beyond Brain Barriers program factsheet (PDF, 1.8 MB)