Key Info

Basic Information

Portrait: Prof. Dr. Twan Lammers © Copyright: Stefan Hense
Prof. Dr. Twan Lammers
Faculty / Institution:
Organizational Unit:
Nanomedicine and Theranostics Research and Teaching Area
Excellent Science
Project duration:
01.10.2018 to 31.03.2020
EU contribution:
150.000 euros
  EU flag and ERC logo This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 813086)  


Penetration-promoting and Imageable Polymeric Micelles as a Platform Technology for Individualized and Improved Tumor-targeted Drug Delivery


PIcelles will assess the commercial viability of a novel theranostic nanoformulation for anticancer therapy. Current nanomedicine platforms are not able to boost response rates and survival times due to two main reasons: (1) the high variability in the accumulation of nanomedicines in tumors and metastases; and (2) the poor tissue penetration of nanomedicines in tumors and metastases. Based on results of the ERC project NeoNaNo, we are developing an imageable and penetration-promoting PIcelles platform, which is based on polymeric micelles, that will tackle these challenges by incorporating three key features in one formulation: (1) chelators for radiolabeling, to enable patient pre-selection via non-invasive imaging of target site accumulation; (2) a novel peptide on the micelles’ shell, to allow for active targeting to the microenvironment in tumors and metastases, and also for active pharmacological promotion of nanomedicine penetration; and (3) facile, efficient and stable drug loading, with clinically relevant anticancer agents. In this project, we aim to generate technical and commercial proof-of-concept for our proprietary PIcelles platform technology, enabling us to enter into license deals with large pharmaceutical industries that are in need of novel breakthrough drug delivery technologies for their difficult-to-formulate anticancer agents.

Additional information

This grant is hosted at the University Hospital RWTH Aachen (UKA).