N4 Pharma has been developing Nuvec® – a unique non-viral adjuvant delivery system for vaccines and cancer treatments. This silica nanoparticle has the potential to help commercialise cancer immunotherapy drugs and improve the effectiveness of viral vaccines.
Nuvec® silica nanoparticles have a unique irregular (spiky) surface structure, coupled with polyethyleneimine (PEI), that simply and effectively traps and protects nucleic acid (such as mRNA / pDNA) as it travels to the cells. Our pre-clinical research work is seeking to demonstrate/confirm that:
- The Nuvec® particle carrying the DNA/RNA attaches to the cell membrane and is taken up into the cell via general and dynamin endocytosis.
- Once inside, PEI changes its charge and begins to disassociate from the particle, releasing some DNA/RNA.
- The particle spikes then start to disintegrate, releasing more of the nucleic acid into the endosome.
- The released PEI ruptures the endosome membrane releasing the DNA/RNA into the cytoplasm.
- The DNA is then free to be taken up into the nucleus where it expresses protein, which is presented on the cell membrane to attract and activate T-cells.
- The adjuvant nature of Nuvec® supports and increases T-cell activation for a strong attack of the cancer cells.
The diagram below shows the end-to-end mode of action for Nuvec® as it delivers DNA/RNA to antigen presenting cells.