CanSino Biologics, Precision NanoSystems to Co-develop COVID-19 RNA Vaccine

May 21, 2020
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

CanSinoBIO will license-in Precision NanoSystems' proprietary RNA vaccine platform technology while the latter leads the development of the RNA vaccine formulation.

On May 20, 2020, CanSino Biologics (CanSinoBIO), a China-based company specializing in research, production, and commercialization of innovative vaccines, and Precision NanoSystems (PNI), a Canada-based provider of instruments, reagents, and services to the life sciences industry, announced that they have entered into a co-development agreement for a messenger RNA lipid nanoparticle (mRNA-LNP) vaccine against COVID-19.

Under the agreement, the companies will leverage PNI's proprietary RNA vaccine platform, comprising a lipid nanoparticle delivery system and the NanoAssemblr manufacturing technology, to rapidly advance a COVID-19 mRNA-LNP vaccine candidate towards human clinical testing and-pursuant to regulatory approvals-commercialization in different regions. PNI will be responsible for development of the mRNA-LNP vaccine and CanSinoBIO will be responsible for pre-clinical testing, human clinical trials, regulatory approval, and commercialization.

CanSinoBIO will have rights to commercialize the vaccine product in Asia (except Japan) with PNI retaining rights for rest of the world. The agreement includes undisclosed payments and royalties.

CanSinoBIO’s COVID-19 vaccine development efforts include their recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine (adenovirus type 5 vector) candidate, Ad5-nCoV, currently in Phase II clinical trial in China. The company recently announced a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada to initiate clinical testing of the Ad5-nCoV vaccine candidate in Canada. In parallel to clinical development of Ad5-nCoV, CanSinoBIO also wanted to join efforts with PNI to develop and commercialize a mRNA-LNP based vaccine, hence their agreement.

"Our team has been dedicated to developing safe and effective vaccines to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Since RNA vaccines are a disruptive technology [because] they do not require cell culture, utilize synthetic delivery, and have a smaller manufacturing footprint, our partnership with PNI to advance a mRNA-LNP vaccine candidate will not only help accelerate the process, but will also potentially revolutionize the vaccine industry," said Dr. Xuefeng Yu, CanSinoBIO's co-founder, chairman, and CEO, in a company press release.

"PNI has developed lipid formulations that are specifically designed for vaccine applications, and we look forward to working with CanSinoBIO to bring the vaccine to patient," said Dr. Andrew Geall, chief scientific officer at PNI and a scientific leader in the field of non-viral delivery of mRNA vaccines, in the press release.

"We are very excited to partner with CanSinoBIO, an innovative biopharmaceutical company leading the way for COVID-19 vaccine development.  We strongly believe PNI's NxGen microfluidic technology and our expertise will enable the rapid development and manufacturing of an effective mRNA-LNP vaccine for COVID-19 and provides the foundation for future pandemic preparedness,” added Dr. James Taylor, co-founder and CEO of PNI, in the press release.

Source: Precision Nanosystems