The use of extracellular vesicles as cell-free therapy is a promising approach currently investigated in several disease models. The intrinsic capacity of extracellular vesicles to encapsulate macromolecules within their lipid bilayer membrane-bound lumen is a characteristic exploited in drug delivery to transport active pharmaceutical ingredients. Besides their role as biological nanocarriers, extracellular vesicles have a specific tropism towards target cells, which is a key aspect in precision medicine. However, the little knowledge of the mechanisms governing the release of a cargo macromolecule in recipient cells and the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) grade scale-up manufacturing of extracellular vesicles are currently slowing their application as drug delivery nanocarriers. Researchers from Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale summarize, from a cell biologist’s perspective, the main evidence supporting the role of extracellular vesicles as promising carriers in drug delivery, and they report five key considerations that merit further investigation before translating Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) to clinical applications.
Production of EVs for drug delivery
Schematic representation of the main passages needed to produce EVs as a drug delivery carrier. Each step must be standardized for the realization of EV-based medicines