Edison Investment Research Limited
London, UK, 31 May 2021
Exopharm (EX1): Initiation - All the parts for drug delivery development
We are initiating research on Exopharm, a company focused on providing solutions for the development of targeted therapeutics using extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are small packets of material naturally released by cells in the body that are being investigated for their therapeutic properties and for improving drug delivery, and Exopharm has a suite of technology that may be useful for the development and manufacture of EV therapeutics. Its goal is to out-license this platform to one or more major pharmaceutical partners for the development of EV-based drugs.
EVs are small packets of plasma membrane that bud from a range of different cell types. They resemble liposomes in some respects because they are composed of a lipid bilayer, but can contain surface proteins and carry a range of molecules important for intracellular signalling, such as nucleotides. They were initially studied as therapeutics in their own right (ie naïve EVs), but are also of great interest in drug delivery (engineered EVs). EVs are readily taken up by cells in a targeted manner and deliver their cargo directly into the cell, and the goal is that these properties can be utilised for tissue-specific delivery of therapeutics. This being said, all programmes in this space are still at a very early stage and some of the first are only now entering the clinic.
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