Project TitleTherapeutic Exosome Targeting
Track Code2013-160
Short Description

Method for targeting exosomes to human cells for therapeutic applications

#therapeutics #genetherapy #drugdelivery #biomedical #researchtool #gene


Northwestern researchers have developed a novel therapeutic approach to targeting human cells with exosomes using specific, surface-displayed ligands. Since exosomes play roles in immunity and cell-cell communication, they present an interesting opportunity for development of novel therapies based on modulating their ability to deliver molecules to recipient cells. Prof. Leonard and colleagues developed exosomes decorated with cell-specific targeting ligands that are not degraded during exosome biogenesis. These novel exosomes can be used to deliver genes or drugs to specific cells or tissues. Importantly, this method of exosome production is fully scalable, readily producing high quantities of functional exosomes. This invention is the first instance of successful exosomal targeting to human cells and with additional research it has the potential to become a viable therapeutic strategy.

Tagsbiomedical, RESEARCH TOOL: gene, THERAPEUTICS: drug delivery, THERAPEUTICS: gene therapy
Posted DateJun 3, 2015 3:40 PM


Joshua Leonard*

Michelle Marcus Hung


  • Targeted gene therapy and drug delivery
  • New production and purification methods for exosomes


  • Targeted delivery to human cells
  • Robust display of targeting molecules on exosome surface
  • Non-degradable targeting ligands


IP Status

US patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Michael Moore, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847.491.4645