Industry Seminar - Prof. Helen McCarthy

Precision Oncology Ireland hosted our first Industry Research Seminar on Tuesday 9th June, showcasing the ground-breaking work of one of our partners, Prof. Helen McCarthy of Phion Therapeutics. Prof. McCarthy holds the Chair of Nanomedicine at Queen’s University Belfast, is the Director of Internationalisation in the School of Pharmacy, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and CEO of pHion Therapeutics. Prof McCarthy’s research has focused on the development of non-viral delivery systems for nanomedicine applications. Her talk was a mine of information for any researcher interested in the translation of their work from the academic to the industrial sphere. She focused on the 5 W’s of her spin-out company, Phion Therapeutics ( ‘Who, What, When, Where and Why?’. 

The biomimetic peptide delivery systems being developed at Phion have wide-spread utility, and are designed to overcome the extra and intracellular barriers, so that the macromolecular payload can be delivered at the destination site in order to exert the optimal therapeutic effect. Current research projects involve gene therapy for metastatic deposits; miRNA therapeutics for oncology and wound healing applications; mRNA and DNA vaccination strategies; repurposing of bisphosphonates and regeneration of bone by increasing the bioavailability of ceramics.

Phion Therapeutics are a POI partner, and within the programme are working with Prof. Tracy Robson at RCSI to develop a novel tumour-specific targeted nanoparticle delivery system to send an anti-angiogenic and anti-migratory gene, FKBPL, directly to ovarian tumours.