PCI is a technology for light-directed drug delivery and was developed to introduce therapeutic molecules in a biologically active form specifically into diseased cells.
PCI can enhance the delivery of all molecules taken into the cell by endocytosis. This includes most types of macromolecules (such as proteins and nucleic acids), drugs carried by antibodies or nanoparticles, as well as some small molecule drugs.
The basis of the PCI technology is a light-induced rupture of endocytic vesicles, releasing endocytosed molecules into the cell cytosol, from where they can reach their intracellular target of action, realizing their therapeutic potential.
The PCI effect is obtained by the use of photosensitising compounds specifically localising in the membranes of endocytic vesicles, opening these membranes by an oxidative process after illumination. Photosensitising compounds:
The PCI technology has a potential to improve the effect both of existing drugs and of emerging treatments such as gene therapy and other therapies based on nanotechnology or on biotechnological principles.
The PCI technology is protected by several granted patents and pending patent applications.