N4 Pharma Plc (LON:N4P) shares surged on Monday morning after the specialist pharma agreed to extend its research collaboration with MedImmune, a subsidiary of UK drugs giant AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN).
For the past nine months, the two have been exploring the manufacture of a prototype nanomedicine which uses N4’s Nuvec delivery system, which delivers DNA directly into cells in a bid to encourage the production of anti-cancer antigens.
That research project was funded by an Innovate UK feasibility grant, although it came to an end last week.
But MedImmune has confirmed that it wants to carry on working with N4 to conduct further research with a view to agreeing on terms for co-development of an optimised version of Nuvec under an “appropriate collaboration agreement”.
“We are delighted that MedImmune is continuing to work with N4 Pharma to evaluate the potential of our Nuvec system,” said chief executive Nigel Theobald.
“MedImmune is able to provide considerable expertise and resources for this work and their continued support for N4 Pharma and Nuvec is a clear indication of Nuvec's potential as a non-lipid, non-viral vaccine delivery technology and an example of how we can establish separate agreements for different versions of the Nuvec platform technology.”
Shares jumped 28.4% to 7.13p on Monday morning.