Folate receptor targeted nanoparticles containing niraparib and doxorubicin as a potential candidate for the treatment of high grade serous ovarian cancer

Sci Rep. 2023 Feb 24;13(1):3226. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-28424-3.


Combination chemotherapy is an established approach used to manage toxicities while eliciting an enhanced therapeutic response. Delivery of drug combinations at specific molar ratios has been considered a means to achieve synergistic effects resulting in improvements in efficacy while minimizing dose related adverse drug reactions. The benefits of this approach have been realized with the FDA approval of Vyxeos®, the first liposome formulation to deliver a synergistic drug combination leading to improved overall survival against standard of care. In the current study, we demonstrate the synergistic potential of the PARP inhibitor niraparib and doxorubicin for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Through in vitro screening in a panel of ovarian cancer cell lines, we find that niraparib and doxorubicin demonstrate consistent synergy/additivity at the majority of evaluated molar ratio combinations. Further to these findings, we report formulation of a nanoparticle encapsulating our identified synergistic combination. We describe a rational design process to achieve highly stable liposomes that are targeted with folate to folate-receptor-alpha, which is known to be overexpressed on the surface of ovarian cancer cells. With this approach, we aim to achieve targeted delivery of niraparib and doxorubicin at a pre-determined synergistic molar ratio via increased receptor-mediated endocytosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Liposomes / therapeutic use
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / drug therapy


  • niraparib
  • Doxorubicin
  • Liposomes
  • Drug Combinations
  • Folic Acid