Specialist pharmaceutical company N4 Pharma provided an update on its Nuvec drug delivery programme, while it awaits pilot human trials for its reformulation of sildenafil, the drug better known as Viagra.
N4 has appointed Andrew Leishman, a former senior research scientist at AstraZeneca with experience in multiple clinical and pre-clinical trials, to head development of Nuvec. The proprietary nanosilica system targets the delivery of therapeutics such as RNA, DNA, vaccines and targeted cancer therapies and has been developed by N4 as a potential alternative delivery system to lipid nanoparticles and lipid nanosomes.
Over the coming months, N4 plans to demonstrate human primary cell transfection, as well as investigate the degree of nuclease protection achieved, as well as demonstrate pre-clincial efficacy and undertake a pre-clinical toxicology study to further understand the technology's impact on the body following subcutaneous administration.
Nigel Theobald, chief executive officer of N4 Pharma, said, "I am very excited about the potential for Nuvec and the appointment of Andrew to the team. I have no doubt that he will be a valuable asset to the business."
"The additional funds received from the recent warrant exercises put us in a strong position and not wholly reliant on partnerships to generate data for Nuvec, thereby making it easier for us to enter other commercial discussions," he added.
A market research report commissioned with Agility Health Tech to look into the potential market position for Nuvec, discovered the total market size for nanotechnology drug delivery is expected to reach $178bn in 2019.
N4 Pharma's most advanced reformulation is for erectile dysfunction treatment sildenafil, where the company is seeking to improve the speed at which the drug takes effect whilst also extending its duration of action. There was no further update on human trials, with the next patent milestone being the October 2018 deadline for entry of the patent application into national phases and the start of the detailed review in each key territory.
As of 0840 GMT, shares
had dropped back 6.17% to 25.10p.