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NantWorks Announces Breakthrough Nano-Thermal Blade Technology to Treat Rare Diseases Through Single Cell Surgery Enabling Mitochondria Transfer into Mammalian Cells

By Business Wire News   


NantWorks, LLC, founded by physician scientist and inventor of the first human nanoparticle chemotherapeutic agent Abraxane®, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, today announced the successful application of a breakthrough photothermal nanoblade in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, demonstrating mitochondria transfer into mammalian cells for mitochondrial disease therapeutics, regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy. Results of the technology were published in the May 10, 2016 issue of Cell Metabolism, Mitochondrial Transfer by Photothermal Nanoblade Restores Metabolite Profile in Mammalian Cells.

Diseases associated with mitochondrial DNA mutations are prevalent, affecting on average one in 5,000 individuals.1 Tools for manipulating cells through mitochondrial transfer are limited and typically lack in efficiency.

The photothermal nanoblade utilizes a pulsed laser triggered at ultrafast speed enabling a cell membrane opening coupled with a pressure-driven cargo transport system to deliver extremely large cargo into cells. High transfer efficiency and high cell viability can be achieved for micron-sized cargo such as mitochondria. The commercial prototype, developed by NanoCAV, LLC, a NantWorks subsidiary, can perform high-throughput delivery into 100,000 cells in just a few minutes.

The Cell Metabolism paper reports the successful transfer of wild-type mitochondria into cells deficient in normally functioning mitochondria, with restoration of mitochondrial function and metabolism profiles in the target cell after mitochondria transfer.

“The medical potential for this technology will help to enable new mitochondrial research and potential therapies for diseases,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, chairman and chief executive officer of NantWorks. “Working with UCLA on this project has driven a prototype that is able to perform not only higher-throughput delivery but with an ease in usability for researchers.”

The technology was developed at UCLA in collaboration with NantWorks and led by Professors Michael Teitell and Eric Pei-Yu Chiou, Ting-Hsiang Wu, as well as Dr. Kayvan Niazi, scientist and chief technology officer (CTO) of NantBio, a wholly owned subsidiary of NantWorks.

About The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, established in 1945, offers 28 academic and professional degree programs, including an interdepartmental graduate degree program in biomedical engineering. Ranked among the top 10 engineering schools at public universities nationwide, the school is home to six multimillion-dollar interdisciplinary research center in space exploration, wireless sensor systems, nanotechnology, nanomanufacturing and nanoelectronics, all funded by federal and private agencies.

About NantWorks

NantWorks, LLC, founded by renowned physician scientist and inventor of the first human nanoparticle chemotherapeutic agent Abraxane®, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is the umbrella organization for the following entities: NantHealth, NantMobileHealth, NantOmics, NantBio, NantCell, NantPharma, NantCapital and NantCloud. Fact-based and solution-driven, each of NantWorks’ division entities operates at the nexus of innovation and infrastructure. The core mission of NantWorks is convergence and a systems approach to human biology: to develop and deliver a diverse range of technologies that accelerates innovation, broaden the scope of scientific discovery, enhance ground-breaking research, and improve healthcare treatment for those in need. NantWorks is building an integrated fact-based, genomically and proteomically -informed, personalized approach to the delivery of care and the development of next generation diagnostics and therapeutics for life threatening diseases such as Cancer, Infectious Diseases and Alzheimer’s. For more information please visit and follow Dr. Soon-Shiong on Twitter @DrPatSoonShiong.

1 A.M. Schaefer et al. (2008). Prevalence of mitochondrial DNA disease in adults. Ann. Neurol. 63, 35-39. Or PubMed link

Jen Hodson, 562-397-3639


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