Genisphere and AstraZeneca’s MedImmune ink R&D, licensing deal

3DNA
Genisphere's 3DNA platform.(Courtesy Genisphere)

Pennsylvania nanotech company Genisphere and AstraZeneca’s ($AZN) biologics R&D company MedImmune have agreed to formalize a collaboration on research with an option to license nanoparticles using Genisphere’s 3DNA platform.

3DNA entirely comprises strands of DNA linked together with complementary sequences into a structured mass of genetic material. The end product can hold a drug in its scaffold of DNA as well as antibodies on its surface, giving it both vehicular and targeting capabilities.

The two companies plan to use the platform in conjunction with up to 6 MedImmune oncology molecules, as the nanoparticle configuration may help to improve targeting of the drug, they said. In preclinical studies, Genisphere has said the 3DNA platform successfully treated a cataract surgery complication called posterior capsular opacification.

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Under the agreement, Genisphere will receive an upfront payment in addition to development milestones and future royalties if MedImmune triggers an option. The deal also formalizes a 2-year collaboration between the companies that have been conducting R&D to customize the platform for various applications.

“We have been very impressed with the forward thinking and highly collaborative nature of our partners at MedImmune and their willingness to explore novel ways to deliver novel oncology therapeutics,” Tom Bliss, Genisphere’s CEO, said in a statement. 

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