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Sixfold Bioscience awarded two Innovate UK grants

Sixfold Bioscience awarded two Innovate UK grants to advance the development of their cell and gene therapeutic delivery system


Sixfold Bioscience, a biotechnology company focusing on the development of drug delivery systems for cell and gene therapeutics has just been awarded two grants by the UK’s innovation agency — Innovate UK — through the ‘Analysis for Innovators’ (A4I) programme.


The two grant-funded projects will further the development of Sixfold’s delivery systems by enabling advanced analysis and measurement of their physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties in vitro and in vivo. The collaborations with two world-leading institutions — the UK’s National Metrology Institute, The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Management Ltd, and the National Measurement Laboratory (NML) hosted by LGC Ltd — have recently commenced to make the most of this excellent opportunity.


NML’s organic synthesis laboratory.


Sixfold’s CEO, Dr Zuzanna Brzosko, says:

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to lead these two different but complementary projects co-funded by the Innovate UK. We are confident that by allowing us to access the NPL’s and the NML’s unique expertise and facilities, the projects will meaningfully contribute to the preclinical advancement of our drug delivery system. We have been making significant progress since October this year and we look forward to a longer-term collaboration with both companies”.

NPL and NML are a fundamental part of the UK Measurement System; developing national measurement standards and performing high quality measurement research across a range of areas to improve the safety and efficacy of advanced therapeutics. The Innovate UK funded collaborations enable Sixfold to access their state-of-the-art technologies, facilities and expertise.


Ibolya Kepiro, lead scientist from NPL, comments:

“The projects provide us with an exciting opportunity to help improve Sixfold’s emerging technology and demonstrate how our cellular metrology capabilities can support SMEs in the early stages of their development.”

Sixfold will leverage NPL’s expertise in the measurements of biological nanomaterials in cellular environments across multiple length scales. This comprehensive analysis of Sixfold’s drug delivery system, the Programmable Oligonucleotide Delivery System (PODS), will allow for improvement of the next generation of PODS in order to exhibit improved efficiency.


Furthermore, NML’s mass spectrometry and NPL’s high-resolution imaging expertise will be used for establishment of in vivo quantification methods as well as pharmacokinetic profile analysis of PODS in order to optimise short interfering RNA (siRNA)-PODS-based cancer therapies, facilitating Sixfold’s progress in the development of this therapeutic approach.


Chris Hopley, Principal Scientist in organic analysis at the NML, says:

“The measurement of Sixfold’s novel PODS system presents an exciting challenge and we are very pleased to be able to provide measurement support to enable them to significantly improve their unique product.”

The two projects will accelerate the pre-clinical development of the PODS platform technology, expediting commercialization with the ultimate goal of improving therapeutic access and quality of life for cancer patients worldwide.


Both projects have begun in October 2019 and are scheduled to be completed within 12 months. Sixfold is delighted to have been given this opportunity and is excited to see the outcome of this collaborative research.


* Footnote: Innovate UK 

Innovate UK is a government-funded public body, part of UK Research & Innovation — supporting business growth & development, and in particular the development and realisation of fresh ideas. Since 2007, IUK has invested ~£2.5 billion to help businesses across the country, and in combination with industry funding, the total value of projects has amounted to over £4.3 billion as of 2019. For more information, visit: www.innovateuk.ukri.org


** Footnote: Sixfold Bioscience Ltd.

Sixfold Bioscience is a venture-backed preclinical-stage biotechnology company based at the Innovation and Translation Hub in White City, London. Sixfold develops nucleic acid-based drug delivery systems, with a current focus on Cell & Gene therapeutics such as short interfering RNA for gene silencing and messenger RNA for gene expression. For more information, visit: https://www.sixfold.bio


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