GlaxoSmithKline negotiated exclusive rights to develop and commercialize specific vaccine and inhaled product candidates using Liquidia Technologies’ PRINT® (particle replication in non-wetting templates) platform for nanoparticle development and production. Under terms of the broad, multiyear collaboration Liquidia will receive an up-front fee based on cash and equity, together with R&D funding, and the potential for additional license fees and development milestones. The firm retains the right to independently develop certain respiratory and vaccine products, as well use the PRINT platform for developing products in other therapeutic areas.
The value of the deal, excluding sales royalties, could total several million dollars. “The strength of this collaboration is based on the strong and successful heritage of GSK’s vaccine and inhaled therapy franchises and the transformative particle engineering and manufacturing capabilities of Liquidia’s PRINT technology, which when combined, we believe will yield a next generation of life saving therapeutics,” remarks Neal Fowler, Liquidia’s CEO.
The PRINT platform is effectively a mold-based replication process for generating precisely engineered particles and films. The technology enables the independent optimization of drug carrier particle features including shape, size, chemical composition, and surface functionality. Liquidia says this means particles can be designed to either actively or passively target specific cells and tissues, and carry large therapeutic payloads of small molecule or biologic drugs. Custom-modification can also optimize circulation time, and generate carrier particles that only release their drug cargo in response to specific cues such as pH, temperature, or the presence of a particular enzyme.
Liquidia is exploiting the PRINT technology for the development of engineered antigen-carrying dissolvable particle vaccines, conjugate vaccines, and nucleic acid vaccines, as well as inhaled therapeutics and products for systemic and local siRNA delivery. The firm says the platform can also be exploited for developing micro-beads and/or wells used in some next-generation sequencing technologies.