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Oct 9, 2020

Virus-mimetic nanoparticles for diabetic nephropathy

Life Sciences, Drug Delivery

  • Specific drug delivery via nanoparticles
  • Virus like targeting in a two-stage process
  • Dose reduction compared to free drug

Your contact

Dr. Katharina Stoiber

+49 (0) 89 5480177 - 40
Reference Number:


Poor target cell specificity is currently a major shortcoming of nanoparticles used for biomedical applications. It causes significant material loss to off-target sites and poor availability at the intended delivery site. To overcome this limitation, designed nanoparticles that identify cells in a virus-like manner could provide a solution to this problem.


The invention described here involves virus-mimetic nanoparticles that are able to transport drugs into the mesangium of the kidney. The nanoparticles use a novel sequential recognition process that is used in a similar way by viruses to recognize their target cells. In contrast to other nanomaterials, the virus-mimetic particles are able to effectively accumulate in the cells of the mesangium. By encapsulating drug candidates such as pirfenidone or cinaciguat, a rational treatment of diabetic nephropathy can be promised for the first time, which occurs in 40% of the more than 400 million people with diabetes worldwide and for whom there is currently no treatment option other than dialysis and organ transplantation.

Commercial Opportunities

Drug Delivery for Diabetic Nephropathy

Development Status

Proof of Concept with mesangial cells


  • 1

    Fleischmann, D., Maslanka Figueroa, S., Beck, S., Abstiens, K., Witzgall, R., Schweda, F., … Goepferich, A. M. (2020). Adenovirus Mimetic Nanoparticles: Sequential Ligand-Receptor Interplay as a Universal Tool for Enhanced In Vitro/In Vivo Cell Identification. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

  • 2

    Maslanka Figueroa, S., Fleischmann, D., Beck, S., Tauber, P., Witzgall, R., Schweda, F., & Goepferich, A. (2020). Nanoparticles Mimicking Viral Cell Recognition Strategies Are Superior Transporters into Mesangial Cells. Advanced Science

  • 3

    Maslanka Figueroa, S., Veser, A., Abstiens, K., Fleischmann, D., Beck, S., & Goepferich, A. (2019). Influenza A virus mimetic nanoparticles trigger selective cell uptake. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  • 4

    Fleischmann D, Goepferich A. General sites of nanoparticle biodistribution as a novel opportunity for nanomedicine. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2021 Sep;166:44-60.

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