N4 now has the exclusive global rights to commercialise the university's nano particle vaccine delivery system for messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) particles; the UK firm already had the rights for the Aussie uni's plasmid DNA (pDNA) and certain subunit vaccines.
Messenger RNA particles are molecules that carry DNA code to other parts of the RNA cell for processing. A pDNA, meanwhile, is a double-stranded DNA molecule that is discrete from a cell's chromosomal DNA.
Under the latest agreement N4 Pharma will undertake further research and experimentation with Uniquest to develop a strong in-vitro (test tube) data package demonstrating the ability of these vectors to achieve high protective loading of pDNA and mRNA and demonstrate their strong transfection capability.
“mRNA is an exciting area of therapeutic treatment in oncology and early encouraging results with our plasmid DNA research show strong pDNA loading onto the silica vesicle and excellent transfection being achieved,” said Nigel Theobald, chief executive of N4 Pharma.
“Over the next few months we will continue to undertake experiments to demonstrate the capability of our vectors for both pDNA and mRNA, publishing the data when we can with a view to looking to engage with potential partners in the second half of 2016 to either work with their own particles or potentially acquire the rights to particles ourselves which we can then seek to take forward using these vectors,” Theobald added.
Onzima owns 49% of N4 Pharma.