Biopharmaceutical company ValiRx (LON:VAL) announced today that it has made an important advance in the production method of drug candidates based on its GeneICE technology.
The company said that cost savings due to the new production method would mean that funds received by the EU funding and support programme for SMEs, Eurostars, for its GeneICE development programme will go further.
GeneICE stands for Gene Inactivation by Chromatin Engineering, which is a proprietary method developed by ValiRx to locate the “rebellious” genes that cause cancer and shut those genes down. ValiRx’s new production technique simplifies the construction of GeneICE molecules and, by extension, makes them cheaper to produce.
Moreover, said the company, the new GeneICE molecule has the potential to deliver better biological activity than observed in successful trials using earlier molecules. ValiRx’s management believes that as the new molecule is simpler in design, the remaining pre-clinical studies may be completed more efficiently and quickly than previously anticipated.
The company also hopes that the extra cost saving that comes with the simplification of chemistry and a cleaner biological profile will add further value to GeneICE and its attraction to potential licensees and partners. The new, enhanced, forms of GeneICE drug candidates and control molecules are currently undergoing efficacy and safety studies using model cancer and control systems.
As a result of the cost saving in production of the therapeutic candidate created by ValiRx's new chemistry and the reduction in the cost of other technologies, the grant monies received by Eurostars for the GeneICE development programme are expected to last for a further nine months, enabling ValiRx to conserve its own cash resource, whilst furthering and enhancing its GeneICE development programme.
“This very exciting progress with the GeneICE chemistry offers us a whole range of new opportunities as we explore the potential of these molecules,” said Dr Satu Vainikka, ValiRx’s CEO. “We anticipate increased interest from potential licensees and partners.”