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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2016, Article ID 8046739, 12 pages
Research Article

Stabilized Polymer Micelles for the Development of IT-147, an Epothilone D Drug-Loaded Formulation

Intezyne Technologies, 3720 Spectrum Blvd. Ste. 104, Tampa, FL, USA

Received 3 August 2016; Revised 18 October 2016; Accepted 2 November 2016

Academic Editor: Jia You Fang

Copyright © 2016 Adam Carie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epothilones have demonstrated promising potential for oncology applications but suffer from a narrow therapeutic window. Epothilone D stabilizes microtubules leading to apoptosis, is active against multidrug-resistant cells, and is efficacious in animal tumor models despite lack of stability in rodent plasma. Clinical development was terminated in phase II due to dose limiting toxicities near the efficacious dose. Taken together, this made epothilone D attractive for encapsulation in a stabilized polymer micelle for improved safety and efficacy. We have designed a library of triblock copolymers to develop IT-147, a lead formulation of epothilone D that extends plasma circulation for accumulation in the tumor environment, and potentially decrease systemic exposure to reduce dose limiting toxicities. The drug loading efficiency for IT-147 exceeds 90%, is 75 nm in diameter, and demonstrates pH-dependent release of epothilone D without chemical conjugation or enzymatic activation. Administration of IT-147 at 20 mg/kg increases exposure of epothilone D to the plasma compartment over 6-fold compared to free drug. At the same dose, 20 mg/kg epothilone D from IT-147 is considered the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) but is the maximum tolerated dose for free drug. Consequently, IT-147 is positioned to be a safer, more effective means to deliver epothilone D.