The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is transferring technology about production of proteins that could lead to a breakthrough in therapeutics to Liquidia Technologies.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Joseph DeSimone, who founded Liquidia, also helped discover the technology involved in the transfer.
According to DeSimone, the discovery could enable fabrication of proteins at a nanotechnology level. The process helps overcome challenges in protein solubility, distribution, stability and aggregations to help develop or improve protein-based drugs.
“We expect this discovery to dramatically expand the capability and efficacy of existing protein therapeutics,” said DeSimone, who is professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at UNC. “Design of protein particles in such a way that affords control over size and shape, and preserves protein biofunctionality, has never before been accomplished.”
The process called PRINT (Particle Replication in Non-Wetting Templates) produces particles that are of uniform size and shape, Liquidia said in a press release. The company is already seeking to develop what it called “protein particle therapeutics.”
“This technology has the unique opportunity to overcome the challenges associated with protein therapeutics and contribute to the development of highly specific therapeutics for a wide range of diseases,” said Liquidia Chief Executive Officer Neal Fowler. “Having recently led a company that specializes in developing and commercializing biologics, I have a great appreciation and excitement for the new biotherapeutic opportunities that the PRINT platform may enable.”
Fowler, who joined Liquidia in March, worked for a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.
Liquidia is focused on development of nanotechnology. the company has raised more than $22 million in venture capital.
The Journal of the American Chemical Society published the PRINT discovery effort, led by DeSimone and Jennifer Kelly, in April.