Back in 1953, Watson and Crick unraveled the structure of DNA. This breakthrough, decades later, has led to what could become a revolutionary change in the treatment of genetic disorders and various cancers. In fact, our understanding of DNA is what led to the field of gene therapy, a field in which Genprex Inc (NASDAQ: GNPX) is becoming a driving force of innovation.
While gene therapy is believed to be a promising concept in the treatment of various ailments, at the moment, there are only a hand full of gene therapy-related treatments and technologies that are approved by the FDA. Although gene therapy shows promise, the issue lies in how the therapy is delivered to the cells which the therapy is designed to treat.
What It Takes To Properly Deliver Gene Therapy To Patients
Gene therapy in and of itself is an incredible breakthrough. The idea that we can use these therapies to replace defective genes in patients or treat cancer; well, that was unheard of just a couple of short decades ago. However, there are some key hurdles in safely and effective delivery when it comes to providing these therapies to patients.
In order for a gene therapy to be effective, the treatment (exogenous genetic material) must be delivered to the cell’s nucleus. As you could imagine, this is a relatively difficult process. Ultimately, there are generally two vehicles that are currently capable of doing so. These are known as viral and non-viral vectors.
Viral Vectors – Viral vectors are just what they sound like. These are viruses that have been engineered for safety by making them incapable of replicating. Through the infection of cells with the engineered virus, DNA is transferred to the host without invoking an immune response. Unfortunately, viral vectors pose technological challenges as well as an increased risk of virus-associated toxicity.
Non-Viral Vectors – Non-viral vectors are also used to transfer genetic materials to cells. One way to do this is through a process known as chemical transfection, which introduces DNA by calcium phosphate, lipid, or protein complexes. Another option is physical transfection of genes. In this process, the genetic material is delivered to the cells via electroporation, microinjection, or use of ballistic particles. While non-viral vectors are considered to be the safest option in gene therapy, there aren’t many options out there as breaking through the cell wall and delivering these treatments directly to the nucleus without the use of a virus is a pressing challenge.
Where GNPX Is In All Of This
Genprex is a company that is solely focused on the use of gene therapy to treat some of the world’s most devastating and debilitating conditions. However, it’s not just the gene therapy that we at CNA Finance find interesting about GNPX, it’s also the proprietary technology encompassed in the company’s unique delivery system.
GNPX worked with NIH researchers to develop what it calls its nanovesicle delivery system. The system was later optimized at MD Anderson. First and foremost, the company’s nanovesicle delivery system is non-viral. Therefore, there is no additional risk surrounding virus-associated toxicity. Instead, the delivery system is made up of a biodegradable, positively-charged lipid nanovesicle that has an affinity to cancer cells, which generally are coated with a negative charge.
In particular, the nanovesicle delivery system has been shown to efficiently transfer genetic material to lung cancer cells. Just as importantly, the delivery system minimizes off-target exposure to the treatment, ultimately improving safety surrounding the treatment.
The nanovesicle delivery system has not only shown to be well-tolerated, but has shown some early signs of efficacy. In fact, through the use of this delivery system, GNPX has seen a 10-to-25-fold uptake in cancer cells versus normal cells. This means that not only is the delivery system effectively delivering the treatment, delivery is specifically targeting cancer cells more so than normal cells.
So far, the treatment has been administered intravenously to more than 50 study patients. These studies have found the nanovesicle delivery system to be well tolerated in human study participants.
To administer the cancer-fighting genes, GNPX encapsulates them into nanoscale hollow spheres known as nanovesicles. From there, these nanovesicles are administered intravenously and are taken up by tumor cells, delivering the treatment directly to the nucleus of these cells with little safety concern.
Gene therapy is still relatively young. However, with its nanovesicle delivery system, GNPX is leading the way in innovation with regard to the delivery of these promising treatments. Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to follow Genprex closely. In particular, we’re interested in following the continued validation of what could become the standard with regard to the delivery of gene therapy, the company’s nanovesicle delivery system. We’re also interested in the continued development of the company’s lead candidate, Oncoprex. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks.
Disclaimer- CNA Finance is NOT an Investment Advisor. Our goal is to bring both news and under discovered stocks to the attention to investors to assist in making smart decisions in the market. CNA Finance is a for profit company. That profit is generated through three (3) different types of relationships. First and foremost, we work with pay per click and CPM advertisers on banners. We also have affiliate relationships with various companies where we earn a portion of the sales we refer. Finally, we may have relationships with some of the companies or IR firms that represent companies mentioned within our works in which we are compensated in cash and or stock for consulting, investor relations, and Press Release services. Invictus Resources paid CNA Finance $6,000 for research and writing services as well as other digital investor relations tasks provided to Genprex. Therefore, while we do everything in our power to provide true, well-researched, and well-thought out opinions, in some instances, a potential conflict of interest may exist. CNA Finance encourages all investors to seek professional advice before making any investment decision.
Never Miss The News Again
Do you want real-time, actionable news delivered to your inbox? Join the CNA Finance mailing list below!