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Special delivery: ProNAi turns to Novosom
KALAMAZOO, Mich.—ProNAi Therapeutics Inc. announced recently that it has formalized a collaboration with German drug-delivery specialist Novosom AG whereby the two companies will apply Novosom's liposome drug delivery technology called Smarticles to ProNAi's PNT100 drug candidate. According to the company PNT100 a DNAi-based candidate has shown the potential for efficacy in a number of cancer indications including prostate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
While specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, ProNAi president and CEO Richard Gill says that it is pretty typical of the industry with an upfront payment, milestone and royalty payments. In additional, ProNAi reserve the right to widen the deal to include four additional DNAi targets.
"What attracted us to Novosom was their unique lipid that is cationic under acid conditions, but when applied to [a cell] it loses its charge," says Gill. "And that eliminates a lot of the problems with toxicity of other delivery technologies."
Currently, the two companies are working together as the three-year-old ProNAi is moving at warp speed toward an IND designation for PNT100 sometime this year.
For Novosom, the opportunity to work with ProNAis was in what appears to be a fast-track to the clinic. "This is the first agreement we have made for our Smarticles that will get into the clinic," says Elias Popotheodorou, Novosom CEO. "That and the equity investment we are receiving from ProNAi will help us to continue to develop our technology."