DLVR Therapeutics will be presenting in the Discovery Company Track at the upcoming BIO Investor Forum. Below, this early-stage company based in Ontario, answers our snapshot questions to provide attendees and readers with more perspective on their work.
What is your company’s lead product or technology?
DLVR is developing an innovative nanoparticle for delivery of nucleotides, such as small interfering RNA (siRNA). Our key differentiator is the synthesis of an HDL-mimetic phospholipid-based particle called HPPS (HDL-like Peptide-Phospholipid Scaffold). HPPS exploits a critical property of HDL biology to create a hydrophobic channel in the cell membrane, thus enabling the delivery of an siRNA payload directly into the cytosol of a target cell. In doing so, HPPS overcomes a major challenge with current delivery approaches that typically target the endomsome, thereby exposing the nucleotide payload to enzymatic degradation. HPPS further mimics HDL by enabling the natural targeting of HDL’s receptor, the scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-B1), which our research shows is upregulated in numerous cancers, as well as ocular and steroidogenic tissues, and the liver.
How does your company go about differentiating itself from the competition?
The HPPS technology has the potential to address two major delivery challenges that have impeded progress in the promising field of siRNA therapeutics, namely:
• active targeting to tumor cells, by co-opting the natural receptor for HDL which is expressed in selected cancers, ocular and steroidogenic tissues, and the liver; and,
• delivery directly into the cytosol of cells, bypassing siRNA entrapment/degradation in the endosomal compartment as occurs with most competing approaches.
In addition, HPPS exhibits similar pharmacokinetics as plasma-derived HDL with a long stable circulating time and favorable biodistribution. HPPS nanoparticles are ultra-small (10-25 nm), nontoxic, biocompatible, easy to synthesize and customizable.
What are the upcoming milestones and long-term priorities for your company?
DLVR intends to enter into partnerships for its HPPS technology in the field of RNAi, to fully exploit the wide range of clinical opportunities for its delivery system. The company’s strategy is to collaborate with partners that have developed novel RNAi technologies or payloads, and partner by disease area. DLVR is engaged in several MTA arrangements/negotiations to generate proof of concept data in selected areas. Our goal over the next 6 months is to convert one or more of these into a development partnership.
Additional work will focus on further understanding the clinical relevance of SR-B1 expression in human tumors, selecting a lead indication for proprietary product development, and expanding the pharmacological profile and transferring the HPPS manufacturing process to a GMP site.
Tell us something about your company that investors might not know.
DLVR has developed an immunohistochemical test that can be used to determine the presence of the SR-B1 receptor in patient tumors and has completed a study to systematically evaluate SR-B1 expression in normal and malignant human tissues across 12 different tumor types. This presents an opportunity to develop a companion diagnostic alongside a proprietary RNAi therapeutic.
Discovery Companies will be presenting in the Marina Room at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Visit our presenting company page for updates to particular timeslots and schedules. Thanks to DLVR for contributing!
*Company snapshots are meant to be previews of presentations given at BIO events by way of answering set questions. BIO does not substantiate or validate any claims mentioned in company snapshots or presentations.