N4 Pharma Plc (AIM: N4P), the specialist pharmaceutical company which reformulates existing drugs and vaccines to improve their performance, is pleased to provide an update on its Nuvec® program in respect of the delivery of DNA/RNA. Nuvec® is a novel therapeutic nanoparticle platform designed to deliver DNA/RNA into cells to generate proteins in situ.
The Company’s strategy for the development of Nuvec® technology will be determined by the level of immune response directed towards a protein antigen generated from the DNA/RNA loaded onto the nanoparticles. We are now working with contract research organisations and collaborators to generate this data which will allow us to determine the most immediate therapeutic areas which Nuvec® will be most suited for.
MedImmune UK update
On 2 February 2018, N4 Pharma announced that it had been awarded a feasibility grant from Innovate UK to co-fund a collaboration with MedImmune UK, a leading global biologics R&D company, to explore the manufacture of a prototype nanomedicine using N4 Pharma’s Nuvec® system. The collaboration has begun well and the Nuvec® team (the “Team”) is making significant progress developing manufacturing methods for Nuvec® particles loaded with therapeutic DNA/RNA encoding protein antigens. Once completed, MedImmune will then conduct studies to demonstrate the capability of delivering such antigens to induce immune responses, the results of which are expected in Q4 2018.
Additional Research and Development pipeline
In addition to the immune response work referred to above, further research will be carried out this year to identify in which human cells Nuvec® nanoparticles are most effective for transfection, as well as characterising dose and duration of response at the site of injection, including rate of breakdown and distribution in the body. In addition, further work will be performed to optimise manufacture of Nuvec® nanoparticles and understand their stability in various media, which will be informative regarding formulation considerations.
The Company expects all of these results, along with our internal immune response work, to be available in Q4 2018 which, together with the MedImmune collaboration results, will be used to form the strategy for prioritising the development of therapeutic uses of the Nuvec® platform over the next year.
Nigel Theobald, CEO of N4 Pharma, commented: “I am really encouraged by the early results from the Nuvec® team’s experiments. The Board believes that data generated from studies this year will result in increased understanding of the mechanism of action and potential scope of the Nuvec® silica nanoparticle delivery platform enabling us to identify the development pathway for Nuvec® in 2019.
Our strategy for Nuvec® is similar to our generics work on sildenafil. We are undertaking initial priority research to determine exactly how Nuvec® behaves much like we are doing initial pharmacokinetic clinical studies for our sildenafil reformulation. This will allow us to focus the development of Nuvec® to enable N4 Pharma to target specific licensing deals with large pharmaceutical companies.”