Understanding Exosomes: Nature’s Solution to Delivery in the Body
Exosomes (also referred to as extracellular vesicles or EVs) are natural, multifunctional and stable nanoparticles that transfer cargo and messages between cells. They are produced by a variety of cell types that transmit materials and genetic instructions to co-ordinate cellular activities in our bodies. Natural exosomes can be produced from cells in a bioprocessing facility.
Exosomes are key to cell-to-cell communication, and deliver ‘cargoes’ — such as protein and nucleic acids — to other cells to influence their behaviour. This form of communication can be directed to adjacent cells or those in distal tissues.
Due to their size, stability and composition, exosomes are also likely to overcome some of the issues with drug delivery, including safety concerns, and the logistical issues associated with storage and transport of a ‘live’ product. Because they naturally transfer active ingredients into cells, EVs also hold promise for delivering medicines across the body, particularly in areas that have been traditionally difficult to target such as tumours, the central nervous system (CNS) and the lungs. For some medicines, exosomes are an alternative and superior means for delivery inside the body – alongside technologies such as lipid nanoparticles (LNP), cell penetrating peptides, viral vectors and liposomes.
Although no exosome medicines have yet been approved for sale globally, their potential to treat currently untreatable diseases make them an extremely compelling development opportunity. Exopharm is one of only two exosome companies listed on public markets worldwide and one of a handful of companies taking exosome medicines into clinical trials and eventually commercialisation.
Despite promise of administering exosomes as a cell-free treatment, the therapeutic exosome market has been held back by one key technological challenge: an efficient exosome extraction and purification process technology that would enable the manufacture of exosome-based medicines at clinical and then pharmaceutical grade and scale.
Exopharm’s Ligand-based Exosome Affinity Purification (LEAP) Technology provides a key step in the downstream manufacturing process to isolate and purify exosomes from a variety of cell sources. LEAP Technology is a proprietary purification technology that works by selectively recognising and binding the surface of EVs. Affinity purification techniques are widely used by the biopharmaceutical industry and are demonstrably scalable.
LEAP Technology has provided access to high-purity exosomes and has launched a virtuous circle of innovation at Exopharm, allowing it to solve manufacturing and characterisation challenges and to bring an exosome-based medicine into human clinical trials for the first time. This places Exopharm at the forefront of this emerging field worldwide.
To discuss our capabilities in EV manufacturing, contact our Commercial team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exopharm has two exclusive proprietary technologies that allow advanced customisation of exosomes – the LOAD technology improves loading of nucleic medicines into exosomes and the EVPS technology allows exosomes to be directed towards selected cell types.
These engineered EVs (EEVs) are designed as precision medicines for indications areas such as genetic disease, neurodegeneration, viral infection and cancer. They work by delivering drugs or other cargo into specific cells.
Our EEV products leverage three key technologies:
Ligands are added to the surface of the exosome to maximise their uptake by specific cells
2. ENHANCED CARGO
Active components such as small molecules, RNA or proteins are loaded into exosomes for delivery
A proprietary manufacturing technology to supply clinical-grade consistent products