April 12, 2024 — A new drug delivery system that overcomes previous limitations in delivering diverse therapeutic compounds in a single carrier has been developed by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers.

According to the new study published in Cell Press, the innovative drug delivery system offers enhanced treatment efficacy with minimized side effects. It utilizes switchable peptide-stabilized emulsions to simultaneously transport both water-soluble and water-insoluble compounds in a single carrier. The new delivery system was developed by Prof. Meital Reches with Daniel Boas, a Ph.D. student at the Hebrew University Institute of Chemistry, and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Early trials using emulsions with the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel have yielded encouraging results, demonstrating significant efficacy against cancer cells. Moreover, this versatile system offers more than just drug delivery—it can be tailored with various features, opening up avenues for novel applications and benefits.

Traditionally, emulsions have served as reliable drug delivery carriers, but their efficacy was hindered by the inability to encapsulate both types of drugs within the same vehicle. Prof. Reches’ team tackled this challenge by devising a short peptide composed of only four amino acids, which is capable of stabilizing emulsions and accommodating both hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds.

“Our multifunctional drug delivery system opens up new avenues for synergistic therapy by enabling the simultaneous delivery of diverse therapeutic agents within a single carrier,” said Prof. Reches. “This has the potential to significantly enhance the efficacy of treatments while minimizing side effects.”

The research paper titled “A multifunctional drug delivery system based on switchable peptide-stabilized emulsions” is now available here.