Drug delivery specialist Genisphere receives an additional $2M in funding

Drug delivery specialist Genisphere announced that it has raised $2 million in private funding to advance its 3DNA nanotechnology platform through collaborations with pharma companies. The funders are existing investors including Corporate Fuel Partners.

"3DNA nanotechnology is a versatile and unique delivery platform with potentially diverse and enormously important medical applications," said Vladimir Muzykantov, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine, in a release. "Genisphere has created an impressive portfolio of joint projects to identify the most promising leads and expand the evolving practical applications beyond the initial prototypes."

Following last year's partnerships with MultiCell Technologies regarding targeted delivery of its candidate to treat primary hepatocellular carcinoma, the company has secured 25 other agreements, including with Big Pharma, the release says.

And the company wants more partnerships. "This round of funding will accelerate our joint efforts with our current collaborators, and gives Genisphere the resources to support additional partnerships," said Chief Scientific Officer Bob Getts in the statement.

The 3DNA delivery technology is composed of two strands of DNA that bind to form a four-armed monomer. The monomers are linked together to form layers. The first layer contains 12 single-strand arms along the structure's perimeter, according to the company website. A typical 3DNA unit consists of 30,000 base pairs of DNA arranged in four layers with about 280 arms.

The DNA strand arms are then "functionalized" with molecules for labeling (enabling imaging and/or tracking of the molecule) or targeted delivery. For example, the partnership with MultiCell Technologies called for the development of a formulation with a ligand for a tumor associated receptor. 3DNA can also deliver small interfering RNA or small off-patent drug molecules, according to the company website.

Drug delivery feats accomplished by the platform include the ability to target specific tumors and delivery across the blood-brain barrier, according to Genisphere.

- read the release