N4 Pharma Plc (LON:N4P), the specialist pharmaceutical company developing Nuvec®, a novel delivery system for cancer treatments and vaccines, has announced that it has appointed Nanomerics Limited to investigate the potential utility of Nuvec® in cancer therapy. The project will explore the role of Nuvec® as a delivery system for DNA and SiRNA. The initial aim is to test a silica based, delivery system in a proof of concept preclinical tumour model.
Based at UCL’s School of Pharmacy, Nanomerics’ scientists have been developing and evaluating gene delivery systems for over two decades including the delivery of genes to tumours. Having worked with the Company since mid-February, the team at Nanomerics has applied its existing gene therapy delivery expertise with what it has learnt about Nuvec® in scoping out the two stage work programme to assess the potential for Nuvec® as a delivery system for oncology therapeutics.
Stage one will focus on the formulation of Nuvec® with a therapeutic DNA plasmid. Stage two will see the candidate formulation evaluated in vivo in a subcutaneous tumour model to examine tumour regression following multiple local or systemic injections.
The two stage programme, which is commencing immediately, is expected to take up to twelve months and will run in parallel to the Company’s ongoing vaccine delivery work.
Nigel Theobald, Chief Executive Officer of the N4 Pharma, commented:
“We are very excited to commence our Oncology Programme with Nanomerics in what could be a third commercial application for Nuvec® in a hugely significant market. Not only could Nuvec® have the potential to deliver therapeutic nucleic acids to target tumours, but also due to the structure of Nuvec® with its hollow core, it is feasible that it could be developed as a combination product whereby it carries an external nucleic acid load and an internal small molecule chemotherapeutic. Such potential could make Nuvec® very attractive as a possible delivery system for oncology therapeutics.”