DEP® Radiotheranostics

DEP® radiotheranostic conjugates have the potential to minimise off-target toxicity, optimise pharmacokinetics and enhance efficacy when used alone or in combination with other therapeutic approaches.

The versatility of Starpharma’s DEP® platform means it can be used with a wide range of therapies and types of molecules (e.g., small molecule drugs, peptides, antibodies, radioisotopes). This flexibility has allowed Starpharma to develop a range of DEP® radiotheranostics as well as its other DEP® programs.

Radiotheranostics is a rapidly developing area of cancer treatment and diagnosis, and sales in this category are estimated to grow to $12–15 billion by 2030 (source: Nuclear medicine world market report & directory, MEDraysintell, 2016). The area has also seen several significant commercial acquisitions in recent years.

DEP® radiotheranostics have the potential to target cancer tissue, minimise off-target toxicity and enhance efficacy.



DEP® radiotheranostics preclinical results

Starpharma has developed multiple novel DEP® radiotheranostic candidates. DEP® radiotherapeutics incorporate radioisotopes on to the DEP® scaffold and patent applications have been filed for DEP® radiotherapeutic candidates.


DEP® lutetium

Preclinical studies demonstrated that DEP® lutetium showed highly statistically significant anti-cancer activity, with tumour regression and 100% survival in a human prostate cancer model (DU-145). DEP® lutetium is a Starpharma patented nanoparticle that incorporates the radioisotope, Lutetium-177, on a DEP® dendrimer scaffold.

dep-lutetium         dep-lutetium


DEP® HER2-lutetium 

In March 2021, Starpharma announced that its second radiotherapeutic candidate, DEP® HER2-lutetium, achieved complete tumour regression, outperforming Herceptin® (trastuzumab) labelled with lutetium (p<0.0001), in a human breast cancer model (BT474). DEP® HER2-lutetium was extremely well tolerated. DEP® HER2-lutetium is a proprietary targeted dendrimer developed by Starpharma, which incorporates the radioisotope lutetium-177 (177Lu) and a novel HER2 targeting moiety (nanobody).

dep-her2-lutetium          dep-her2-lutetium



DEP® HER2-zirconium 

In preclinical studies, Starpharma’s DEP® radiodiagnostic candidate, DEP® HER2-zirconium achieved significant tumour accumulation (>100x in tumour vs blood) in a human HER2-positive ovarian cancer model. The DEP® HER2-zirconium accumulation in tumour was significantly greater than nanobody alone products due to dendrimer delivery advantages (EPR effect).

dep-her2-targeted         dep-zirconium  





Related Announcements:


Targeted DEP® theranostics offer multiple benefits

  • Flexibility in size and structure of nanoparticle (allowing different targeting groups and pharmacokinetics)
  • Enhanced tumour accumulation due to the EPR effect (10x nanobody alone)
  • Enhanced tissue targeting and retention due to specific receptor binding (and internalization) 
    • Enhanced entry and specific accumulation allows for enhanced PET visualization (diagnostic)
    • Enhanced accumulation and cellular internalization in tumours delivers enhanced efficacy and less off-target toxicity


Partnering opportunities

Contact us if you are interested in establishing a partnership with Starpharma.
Business Development
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