Phylogica Limited (ASX: PYC) is a biopharmaceutical company that utilises proprietary drug discovery technologies to discover and develop novel peptide therapeutics.
The company, today on 14 March 2019, announced that it has entered into a Research and Development Collaboration with Ramot, the Business Engagement Center at Tel Aviv University, to further develop the research of Professor Dan Peer of Tel Aviv University in Israel. Professor Peer is considered a honcho in the field of Lipid Nanoparticles Delivery (LNP) systems.
The Collaboration will assess the complementarity of Phylogica’s Cell Penetrating Peptide (CPP) platform with LNPs in the delivery of small interference RNA (siRNA) therapeutics – a significant area of commercial interest for Phylogica.
The Collaboration goes well with Phylogica’s stated strategy of focusing internal resources on the flagship Anti-Sense Oligonucleotide (ASO) program while advancing alternative applications of its CPP platform through collaborative efforts.
Delivery of siRNA inside cells is an area of substantial commercial interest to Phylogica’s prospective pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners. siRNA represents a very attractive cargo class for intracellular delivery due to its precision and potency.
One of the challenges with siRNA as a cargo class is its negative charge – leading to both weak intrinsic cell-penetrating ability and problematic electrostatic interactions with positively charged delivery vehicles. An attractive proposed methodology for overcoming this challenge is to insulate the negatively charged siRNA cargo from positively charged Cell Penetrating Peptides (CPP) using a Lipid Nanoparticles (LNP) coating.
The company highlighted that this Collaboration forms a distinct approach to nucleic acid delivery to its flagship ASO program, and most of the work would be conducted in Prof. Peer’s laboratory in Tel Aviv.
Phylogica’s Director of Research, Dr, Katrin Hoffmann commented that RNAi therapeutics has great potential. However, delivery beyond the liver remains a crucial challenge. He believes that the whole team is excited to work together with Dan Peer, a leading expert in the systemic delivery of siRNA using targeted nanocarriers. He is of the view that this collaboration will provide substantial proof of concept data towards the distribution of siRNA/LNPs using their CPPs to develop more potent and safe RNAi therapeutics.
Today’s announcement comes on the back of the press release made by the company with regards to the peptide vaccine. The details of the same can be read here.
The press release provided details on the Israeli institute. Ramot is the Business Meeting centre at Tel Aviv University. This is Israel’s largest research and teaching university. The Momentum Fund is the most recent of Ramot’s funds to become operational. This fund offers around one-million-dollar funding for translational research technologies at Tel Aviv University in a wide range of fields, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, high-tech, and the physical sciences.
On the price-performance front, the stock has posted the YTD return of -14.29%. The company also has posted returns of -27.27% and -14.29% over the past six months and three months period respectively. At the time of writing (14 March 2019), the stock of the company was trading at a price of $0.023, down by 4.167% as compared to the previous day’s closing price. The company’s market capitalisation stands at ~A$ 58.63 Mn, with an average daily volume of ~ 205,109. It had a 52-week high price of A$ 0.038 and a 52 weeks low price of A$ 0.020, with an average volume of ~438,274.
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