Ichor Medical Systems pens AstraZeneca plasmid DNA delivery pact

AstraZeneca
The AstraZeneca pact comes after it penned vaccine deals with Pfizer and Janssen over the past few years. (AstraZeneca)

Following on the heels of Pfizer and Janssen, AstraZeneca has signed up to use Ichor Medical Systems’ platform aimed at delivering plasmid DNA into cells through electrical pulses.

The San Diego company has penned a collaboration and research license agreement with the Big Pharma, which focuses on the development and clinical assessment of plasmid DNA constructs.

So far, the TriGrid has been used across studies of both preventative and therapeutic DNA vaccines. “Improved vaccine potency with TriGrid delivery versus conventional injection, as well as induction of antibody and T cell responses, has been demonstrated in humans,” the company said in a statement.

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But the AZ pact focuses on delivering DNA-encoding monoclonal antibodies directly into a person, after which that person’s own cells can begin to manufacture the antibodies.

Under the deal, these plasmids will encode monoclonal antibodies, developed by AZ, and will be delivered using Ichor’s TriGrid Delivery System, which uses electrical pulses sent to specific tissue sites, in order to boost plasmid DNA into cells.

Ichor gets upfront and annual payments, along with development milestones, but they are staying mum on the actual numbers involved.

“We are very excited to be working alongside AstraZeneca in this burgeoning field. Our goal is ultimately to increase access to antibody therapies for a wide range of disease indications affecting diverse global populations, thereby expanding new patient markets,” said Ichor CEO Bob Bernard.

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