N4 Pharma Joins the Vox Markets Covid Crusaders Portfolio and Starts Proof of Concept for Nuvec 
Vox Markets
RNS Newswire
10:29, 25th March 2020

N4 Pharma Plc (AIM: N4P FOLLOW) has announced it  will be undertaking a proof of concept research project using a Covid-19 DNA plasmid for the purpose of demonstrating the ability of Nuvec® to be used as a delivery system by potential collaboration partners developing COVID-19 DNA or RNA vaccines. 

Proof of Concept 

The proof of concept study has been designed to show whether Nuvec® is capable of loading the Covid-19 plasmid and transfecting cells with the plasmid in vitro. If the study is successful the Company will then undertake a proof of concept in vivo study to demonstrate the improved transfection when using Nuvec®, compared to not using the delivery system, by measuring the production of the antigenic protein and antibodies generated against the encoded Covid-19 protein. 

The Covid-19 DNA plasmid will be licensed from the National Institute for Health (NIH) in the USA and is the same plasmid provided to leading biotech companies and researchers already working on Covid-19 vaccines. The studies will be undertaken by an unnamed contract research organisation, previously used by the Company. 

It is important to note that N4 Pharma is not attempting to develop a vaccine for coronavirus, it is purely seeking to demonstrate whether Nuvec® could work as a delivery system for a vaccine when it is developed 

Trading Update 

The Company has also stated that operations have not yet been affected by the UK Governments requirement regarding social distancing and self-isolation. The Company operates a virtual model, so most of its workforce works from home or small offices anyway.   

In addition, the Company has received confirmation that the main laboratories contracted by N4 Pharma to undertake research and those identified as partners for the Covid-19 work detailed above, are implementing rota systems to enable key laboratory staff to stay safely at work. The Company’s academic partner in Australia remains open meaning N4 Pharma currently has a continued supply of Nuvec® for its current research needs. Therefore, there are no current significant delays to N4 Pharma's announced work plan.    

Although the  Company's academic partner in the UK announced it will be closed until after Easter, this is a longer-term project, looking at stability testing and efficacy proof of concept of a DNA plasmid loaded on Nuvec® and as such the Company does not expect this closure to greatly impact their program of work. 

Nigel Theobald, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented: "Developing a convincing proof of concept data package for Nuvec® is a key priority for the Company so demonstrating whether Nuvec® is capable of loading a plasmid DNA for the Coronavirus provides an opportunity to show the versatility and potential for our Nuvec® delivery system, and to license Nuvec® to partners looking to develop vaccines for this virus. 

We are not doing this work to develop a vaccine for Coronavirus but rather to demonstrate to those working on these vaccines how Nuvec® may enhance any vaccine and could be beneficial for subsequent vaccines they may be looking to develop for this Coronavirus or other viruses that may well surface in the future." 

Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest

The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. Vox Markets may receive payment from companies mentioned for enhanced profiling or publication presence. The writer may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.

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