The Use of Exosomes from Cow Milk for Oral Drug Delivery

J.L. Betker, B.M. Angle, M.W. Graner, T.J. Anchordoquy
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus,
United States

Keywords: oral drug delivery, exosomes, milk


Many pharmaceuticals must be administered intravenously due to their poor oral bioavailability. In addition to issues associated with sterility and inconvenience, the cost of repeated infusion over a six-week course of therapy costs the healthcare system tens of billions of dollars per year. Attempts to improve oral bioavailability have traditionally focused on enhancing drug solubility and membrane permeability, and the use of synthetic nanoparticles has also been investigated. As an alternative strategy, some recent reports have clearly demonstrated that exosomes from cow milk are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract in humans, and could potentially be used for oral delivery of drugs that are traditionally administered intravenously. Our previous work has shown that antibodies are present in exosome preparations, and the current work with milk exosomes suggests that absorption from the gastrointestinal tract occurs via the “neonatal” Fc receptor, FcRn. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that milk exosomes are absorbed from the gut as intact particles that can be modified with ligands to promote retention in target tissues.