Brain Drug Delivery Technology

Request Number REQ2368010
Due Date March 8, 2018
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Brain Drug Delivery Technology
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a pharmaceutical company, seeks a component or technology to improve the efficiency of drug delivery to the brain significantly.


The mechanism of receptor-mediated transcytosis (RMT), which is currently considered the brain drug delivery technology with the greatest potential, is beneficial because substrate-specific brain delivery of molecules of various sizes is possible while maintaining the homeostasis of the blood–brain barrier (BBB). On the other hand, this mechanism has limitations with respect to the amount of material that can be delivered, as there is room for improvements in efficiency, and the excessive distribution to organs other than the brain, and these restrict its generality.  


The client seeks a brain drug delivery technology that has the same advantages as the RMT mechanism while overcoming its disadvantages. Ultimately, the client anticipates applying the proposed technology not only to small molecules but also other modalities, such as nucleic acids, peptides, and proteins.

A technology to improve the delivery efficiency of the RMT mechanism or control the distribution to other organs and so improve brain delivery efficiency is also eligible.


Key Success Criteria

Requirements of the delivery technology

The client seeks a technology that fulfills the following requirements:

  • Technology that enables highly efficient and substrate-selective brain drug delivery, using one of the following approaches:
    • Technology using components/substrates endogenous to humans
      • Technology using components derived from bodily secretions, e.g. exosomes
      • Derivatives of such components/substrates are also acceptable.
    • Technology using components infectious to humans such as a virus
      • Derivatives of the above.
    • Technology to deliver drugs by bypassing the BBB
    • Technology to suppress distribution to other organs and improve targeting to the brain


* Even if a proposal is not supported by experimental data with model drugs at this point, as long as data exists showing the brain penetrability of the components/vehicles such as the secretions or viruses themselves, or suppression of distribution to other organs, such a proposal will also be eligible.


  • In case of a technology to which none of the above applies, the proposal should demonstrate that highly selective and efficient substrate delivery to the brain have been confirmed in an in vivo study.
    • It is preferable that more than 1% of the dose can be delivered to the brain.


Approaches not of interest

The following technologies are not of interest:

  • Technology to temporarily damage the BBB
    • Combinations of technologies such as microbubbles and ultrasound, etc.
  • Technology to promote penetration in a non-specific manner
    • Non-specific absorption enhancers, surfactants, etc.
  • Technology using intranasal, ophthalmic, intrathecal, or intraspinal administration
  • Technology requiring surgery
    • Catheter, trepanation, etc.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Respondents should submit proposals using the attached Response Template.

The client will carry out an initial paper review, and possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. After the primary selection, in some cases, the client may perform a confirmation of the proposed technology through sample testing. During the selection process, the client may execute non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with selected respondent(s), seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute the necessary agreement(s) with the selected respondent(s) and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation between the concerned parties.


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
Items to be submitted

Responses will use the Response Template which is available here and include the following items:

  • Overview of the technology (mechanism of delivery, uniqueness, etc.)
  • Current performance
    • Components/vehicles used
    • Range of applicability (where investigated)
    • Route of administration
    • Data showing the selectivity and efficacy of drug delivery to the brain or control of distribution to other organs, together with experiment protocols
  • Current R&D stage
  • Future R&D plan and challenges
  • Request regarding the form of collaboration
  • Request regarding the budget and period of collaboration
  • Joint research achievements related to the proposed technology
  • Current status of intellectual property related to the proposal
  • Research achievements


Area of Interest
Request Priority