Under the agreement, the firms will use Evox’s exosome engineering platform with targeting technology to make natural delivery nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo research.
The collaboration aims to address diseases with high unmet medical need – in-PharmaTechnologist has previously reported on the difficulty of getting RNA inhibitory agents inside cells – however specific indications were not disclosed.
Upon completing the studies, BI can choose to negotiate a licence agreement to further develop RNA drug candidates using Evox’s drug delivery technology.
Exosomes are small, cell-derived vesicles that can be used as ‘natural delivery vehicles’ for drugs, Evox’s COO Per Lundin told us.
“Exosomes are the body’s natural messaging system and they transport different types of biomolecules between cells and tissues in the body,” he said.
According to Evox, the vesicles can transport biomacromolecules – including protein, RNA therapeutics and various types of small molecule drugs – around the body.
RNA loading is done via either proprietary exogenous or endogenous loading methods, which enables Evox to work across both natural and non-natural oligonucleotides, said the firm in a statement.
Exosomes can reach difficult-to-reach target tissues, said Evox, adding that their production and purification is similar to conventional biologics manufacturing, both in terms of upstream and downstream development.
“Just like recombinant proteins (e.g. antibodies) exosomes are produced by cells in culture, meaning that the costs are comparable to conventional biologics drugs,” Lundin told us.