N4 Pharma has been developing Nuvec, a unique non-viral adjuvant delivery system for vaccines and cancer treatments. This silica nanoparticle has a unique irregular surface structure, that effectively traps and protects nucleic acid (such as mRNA / pDNA) as it travels to the cells.
The Nuvec system is currently in the pre-clinical research phase and has the potential to help commercialize cancer immunotherapy drugs and improve the effectiveness of viral vaccines. The Nuvec particle attaches to the cell and is endocytosed. Once inside, the linker ruptures the endosome to release the particle and DNA into the cytoplasm where it makes its way to be transcribed. RNA then translates into the target protein which is broken into peptides. These peptides are displayed on the surface of the cell and presented to antigen specific T-cells.
Nuvec is a natural adjuvant so it attracts a large number of innate immune cells which, in turn, leads to increased activation of the adaptive immune system, thus increasing the level of the immune response against the target cancer cells.