Emergex to use Midatech nanoparticle tech for vaccines against infectious diseases

Oxfordshire, U.K.-based Midatech has licensed its gold nanoparticle (GNP) technology to fellow U.K. biotech Emergex Vaccines in an exclusive deal. Emergex will apply the technology to developing and commercializing vaccines against infectious diseases.

As part of the deal, Midatech will receive initial, milestone and royalty payments, the company said in a statement. Neither the targeted diseases nor other financial details were disclosed.

Midatech is using its GNP technology to deliver drugs targeted at specific cells. It is developing treatments for various cancers using GNP drug conjugates as well as an injection-free GLP-1 treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The collaboration with Emergex will be the first time Midatech's technology is applied to vaccines.

"The licensing of Midatech's IP and know-how together with our in-licensing of novel vaccine targets presents a significant opportunity for Emergex to create the first prophylactic/therapeutic vaccine applications in nanomedicines," Emergex said in the statement. The company envisions using synthetic vaccines to quickly intervene in "hot virus" epidemics and against bioterrorism threats.

Speaking of nanomedicine, Gaithersburg, MD-based Novavax ($NVAX) has a number of nanoparticle vaccines in its pipeline, including candidates against Ebola, respiratory syncytial virus. And in April last year, a consortium led by the Switzerland-based Mymetics won an €8.4 million grant to develop temperature-stable nanopharmaceutical vaccines.

- here's the release