Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

miRNA-Responsive Drug-Loaded NMOFs for the Targeted Treatment of Cancer

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

miRNA-Responsive Drug-Loaded NMOFs for the Targeted Treatment of Cancer
Project ID : 6-2019-6706

Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Description of the technology


LifeSciences and BioTechnology


Cancer, Oncology, Nanoparticles, Metal-Organic Framework Nanoparticles, NMOF,miRNA, targeted therapy, nanotechnology, Biomarker

Current development stage

General list: TRL3 Experimental proof of concept

For Pharmaceutical development: TRL4 - POC & Safety of candidate drug formulation is demonstrated in defined animal model


The therapeutic activity of most anticancer drugs in clinical use is limited by their general toxicity to proliferating cells, including some normal cells. Although chemists continue to develop novel cytotoxic agents with unique mechanisms of action, many of these compounds still lack tumor selectivity and have not been therapeutically useful.

Metal-organic framework nanoparticles (NMOFs) represent a broad class of highly porous advanced materials t5hat can be synthesized to be non-toxic and have good permeability to cells, thus, can be applied as effective drug carriers. A good balance between specificity and efficacy of anti-cancer medications is the important unmet need to be fulfilled.

Our Innovation

  • Novel nanoparticles that can be loaded with active compounds (e.g. anti-cancer) and “locked” by a nucleic acid responsive coating. The ‘locks’ can be unlocked by specific miRNA at the targeted cells.
  • Selective release of the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin into two types of cancer cells - breast cancer cells and ovarian cancer cells was demonstrated.
  • Nanoparticles can be designed for any well characterized miRNA specific to various cancers.
  • In-vitro experiments proved high efficacy and specificity of drug-loaded NMOFs.
  • A means to amplify the miRNA biomarkers in the respective cells is shown.



  • The miRNA-stimulated unlocking of the drug-loaded NMOFs represents a versatile autonomous sense-and-treat therapeutic approach with potential to develop into a broad platform for active compounds with high cell toxicity or that require very precise targeting.
  • Dual miRNA-responsive drug therapeutic carriers may be envisaged.
  • The overall global nanoparticle drug market is estimated to reach over US$200B by 2024 at a CAGR of 10%.



Contact in Yissum

Mel Larrosa, VP Business Development Healthcare


Project manager

Mel Larrosa
VP Business Development Healthcare

Project researchers

Itamar Willner
HUJI, Faculty of Science
The Institute of Chemistry

Rachel Nechushtai
HUJI, Faculty of Science
The Alexander Silberman Institute for Life Sciences

Related keywords

  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Genome Research
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Recombinant DNA
  • Monoclonal Antibodies and Hybridomas
  • Gene Splicing and Manufacturing Equipment
  • Other Genetic Engineering
  • Molecular design Market
  • Microbiology Market
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Biochemistry / Biophysics Market
  • Toxicology Market
  • In vitro Testing, Trials Market
  • Stem cells and biobanks
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Population genetics Market
  • Gene Expression, Proteom Research Market
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  • Enzymology/Protein Engineering/Fermentation
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  • Diagnostic
  • Therapeutic
  • Other Medical/Health Related
  • Agro and Marine biotech
  • Anatomy, Pathology, Immunology, Physiology
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Life Science & Biotechnology
  • RNA / DNA therapy

About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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