Calvert Research and Auburn University are partnering to explore the possibility of using nanobiotechnology as a means of fighting cancer.

Financial terms of the six-month study were not disclosed.

The effort will focus on “targeted drug delivery” utilizing nanobiotechnology developed at Auburn that utilizes phages. Phages are simple organisms classified in various virus families.

“This particular study was selected after an extensive nationwide effort to research numerous potential delivery technologies,” said Dr. Lonnie Bookbinder of Calvert research.

Dr. Valery Petrenko will lead Auburn’s efforts.

“Their experts first recognized that the merging of phage nanobiotechnology developed at Auburn with genomics can contribute vigorously to different areas of medicine, specifically in the area of targeted cancer therapy,” Petrenko said of Calvert. “I believe the new concept of phage-driven drug-delivery, which we explore in our partnership program, will demonstrate its power and vitality in the near future.”

An initial target is breast tumor-specific phage proteins.

Calvert Research is part of .

"The Auburn project fits our plans to invest in novel therapeutic approaches that will advance clinical development of new drug compounds,” said Calvert Holdings Chief Executive Officer Russ McLauchlan.

Calvert Holdings, which is privately held and was established in 1996, includes Calvert Labs, Calvert Research, Calvert BioCapital, Calvert Creative, Carolina Securities, and Calvert Cafe.