NCL News Archive

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Drug Release Protocol Available

The NCL has just added a new protocol to our Assay Cascade Protocols page to measure drug release from nanomedicines. The protocol, PHA-2, is based off of the recent Journal of Controlled Release publication, Stable isotope method to measure drug release from nanomedicines. Since its publication in late 2015, this assay has gained a lot of attention and has been in high demand at the NCL, particularly in regards to bioequivalence analysis of follow-on/generic nanomedicines. The unique features of this assay include:

  • Can be done in biological matrix, either in vitro or using samples from an in vivo study
  • Can determine encapsulated, protein-bound, and free unbound drug concentrations
  • Utilizes a stable isotope of the drug, many of which are commercially available
  • No requirement for radioactivity (like NCL protocol PHA-1)

Drug release protocol image 1

The protocol uses a stable isotopically labeled version of the drug (D*) and a simple ultrafiltration technique. When spiked into plasma or other matrix, D* equilibrates with protein (Pro) and nanomedicine (NM) identical to the unlabeled, normoisotopic drug (D). Therefore, the ultrafiltrate fraction of the isotopically labeled drug represents a reliable measurement of the free drug fraction. The plasma protein bound, unencapsulated and encapsulated nanomedicine fractions can then be easily calculated.

new drug release protocol image 2

Have questions on the protocol? Let us know. Dr. Stephan Stern, developer of the technique, will be happy to address questions.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Inaugural FNLCR Technology Showcase Draws Hundreds

More than 200 science and business professionals from across the region attended the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research’s (FNLCR) Inaugural Technology Showcase event. The program highlighted technologies developed by NCI and FNLCR investigators available for license or other collaborative development. In addition, Frederick city and county officials highlighted partnership opportunities and resources available for technology development and commercialization.

Read more about this year’s event here: For more information on the technologies developed, please contact FNLCR’s Partnership Development Office.


Jim Pannucci, Ph.D.
Director, Partnership Development Office
(301) 228-4874

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nanomedicine Award 2017

The European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine (ETPN) and the EU-funded consortium ENATRANS have launched the third edition of the Nanomedicine Award to honor the best international nanomedicine innovations for 2017.

The goal of the Award is to promote and reward two excellent innovative nanomedicine-based solutions that could bring significant benefits to patients, answering unmet medical needs.

The Award is open to companies as well as academic and private researchers across the globe. Nominated projects should be totally new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that address unmet medical needs with nanomedicine, and have an explicit and defined potential market.

Nanomedicine proposals will be evaluated in two categories:

  • Most promising nanomedicine project
  • Best nanomedicine product or deal

For more information and to apply, please visit:

Deadline to apply is August 25, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Innovative Research in Cancer Nanotechnology (IRCN) Funding Opportunity Announcement (R01)

NCI’s Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research has published a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Innovative Research in Cancer Nanotechnology (IRCN) initiative, PAR-17-240. All IRCN awards made through this announcement are R01 grants and will be part of the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer network. Due dates are twice per year, with the announcement remaining open until May 2020. The first due date is November 21, 2017.

The purpose of this FOA is to advance the development of innovative research projects addressing major barriers in cancer biology and/or oncology using nanotechnology, with emphasis on the fundamental understanding of nanomaterial interactions with biological systems, mechanisms of nanoparticle delivery in vivo, and characterization of diagnostic devices in vitro.

Investigators with expertise in cancer nanotechnology and/or combined expertise in cancer biology, oncology, chemistry, physics, and materials science are encouraged to apply for this new FOA. Please also note that non-U.S. entities and non-U.S. components of U.S. organizations are eligible to apply for these awards.

Inquiries regarding the IRCN FOA should be directed to Dr. Piotr Grodzinski ( or Dr. Stephanie Morris (

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2017 FNLCR Technology Showcase

The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) will be hosting a half-day event that will showcase technologies being developed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and FNLCR. The event aims to introduce the Frederick community to the regional technology development stakeholders, highlight available resources, as well as to encourage startup company formation, technology licensing, and collaborations.

The program will feature short technology summaries presented by NCI and FNLCR innovators, as well as presentations from regional stakeholders involved with technology development and commercialization. There will be opportunities for networking throughout the event, including an interactive poster session by innovators and technology ambassadors.

Date: June 7, 2017
Time 12:30-6:00
Location: Advanced Technology Research Facility, 8560 Progress Drive, Frederick, MD 21702
Cost: Free

The event is free to attend, but we ask that you please register here:

Download the printable brochure and share with interested colleagues. The site will be updated with a final program soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Video Overview of NCL Services

Not sure what the NCL does or how we might work together?
Watch the NCL’s overview video to learn more about the services we offer.

Learn more about NCL’s free characterization service for cancer nanomedicines and the types of fee-based services we provide. Contact us with any questions. A staff member will be happy to answer any questions and help guide you through the application process.

Video produced by AP Media.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Equivalence of Complex Drug Products: Scientific and Regulatory Challenges

Missed the NYAS meeting on “Equivalence of Complex Drug Products: Scientific and Regulatory Challenges”? The academy has just published an e-briefing from the meeting. Here you will be able to find notes from the meeting, as well as videos of select presentations. You can also find links to related publications and websites.

The meeting was co-organized by the Non Biological Complex Drugs Working Group, the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL), and the New York Academy of Sciences, and took place November 9, 2016. The conference brought experts from around the world to discuss approaches for complex drug development and regulation, challenges in the assessment of complex drug equivalence, and differences and commonalities in the behavior of biological and non-biological complex drug families.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mechanisms and Barriers in Cancer Nanomedicine: Addressing Challenges, Looking for Solutions.

The first issue of ACS Nano for 2017 features an article on the “Mechanisms and Barriers in Cancer Nanomedicine: Addressing Challenges, Looking for Solutions.” The article, co-authored by NCL’s Senior Immunologist, Marina Dobrovolskaia, along with several other well-known names in the field, summarizes the topics of discussion from a recent meeting on the subject. The two-day workshop was held in Brekenridge, Colorado in July 2016 and featured expert speakers from academia and industry, as well as clinicians. Some of the topics summarized include interaction with the complement system, clearance by the MPS, enhancing transport in the stroma, and tumor targeting.

Mechanisms and Barriers in Cancer Nanomedicine: Addressing Challenges, Looking for Solutions.

Anchordoquy, T.J., Barenholz, Y., Boraschi, D., Chorny, M., Decuzzi, P., Dobrovolskaia, M.A., Farhangrazi, Z.S., Farrell, D., Gabizon, A., Ghandehari, H., Godin, B., La-Beck, N.M., Ljubimova, J., Moghimi, S.M., Pagliaro, L., Park, J.H., Peer, D., Ruoslahti, E., Serkova, N.J., and Simberg, D.

ACS Nano. 2017, 11(1), 12-18.

PMID: 28068099

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nature Reviews Materials

NCL’s Director, Scott McNeil, recently published a Correspondence article in Nature Reviews Materials. “Evaluation of nanomedicines: Stick to the basics”, was written in response to another recent Nature Reviews Materials article, Wilhelm, et al, Nature Reviews Materials, 2016, 1, 16014. The Wilhelm, et al. article provides a retrospective analysis of nanoparticle drug delivery to tumors by measuring the amount of nanoparticle carrier detected in the tumor. McNeil’s response article provides an explanation on why this is not a good measure of nanoparticle success and why traditional measures of PK are far more relevant.

You can read the full article here:
Nature Reviews Materials, 2016, 1, 16073.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Join our LinkedIn group on Nanomedicine Preclinical Development

NCL has created a focus group on LinkedIn, designed to connect researchers within the nanotech field. The aim of the group will be to discuss the latest news, trends, and issues of Nanomedicine Preclinical Development.

Join here: