The Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a wall of proteins that tightly regulate the size and chemistries of molecules which can gain access to the brain. In healthy patients, the BBB protects brain cells from pathogens and viruses, however, this same protection blocks drugs from gaining access to diseased tissue.

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from toxins and infectious agents by tightly regulating the passage of chemicals between the circulation and the brain. Not only does the BBB prevents most molecules from interacting with brain tissue, but the BBB prevents drugs, such as chemotherapies, immunotherapies, antibodies, gene/cell therapies, and targeted therapies from reaching the brain.

Approximately 98% of known molecules can’t get through the BBB, including almost all cancer drugs developed to date. In Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, the BBB is the critical obstacle in reducing the effectiveness and success of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s drugs. At Cordance, we are developing a device that can temporarily open up the BBB precisely where therapy needs to go.