Selkirk biotech company Ryboquin has taken over English partner operation Nanogenic Solutions to form a new product and platform firm to be renamed Nanogenics.
Ryboquin raised £4.45m to bankroll that acquisition by securing a third round of funding from new and existing shareholders.
The combined company hopes to revolutionise gene therapy by pioneering safe, efficacious and regular dosing of all its forms.
Currently, viruses and liposomes are used in that process, but they have limited applications and severe side-effects and also pose expensive technical problems.
Nanogenics is developing LipTide, an artificial virus, to act as a delivery system able to be modified to target different cell types.
Alan Walker, chief executive officer of Nanogenics, said: “I am thrilled we have been able to combine these two businesses.
“It will offer real hope to those millions of patients living with diseases who have been unable to benefit from the advances in gene therapy because, until now, it has been so difficult to safely deliver the correct gene therapy to the right target.
“That can now change, and we are already working with six major biotech companies who want to access this exciting delivery mechanism.”
Nanogenics is also developing its own product pipeline to take advantage of the breakthrough afforded by LipTide, and a clinical trial is planned at the Christie Hospital Manchester in 2020.
Paul Murray, executive chairman of the Dunsdale Road firm, added: “We have worked hard and convinced investors of the huge potential of LipTide, and we plan to grow the company quickly to a stage where we can take it public as soon as that is feasible.
“This is a great opportunity to generate real value by offsetting the high-risk, high-return of product development with the amazing potential for multiple licence deals for the revolutionary LipTide platform.”
“It is very rewarding to be involved in the cutting edge of medical science.”