Arrowhead Research Corp. said Tuesday that it has decided to spin off its majority-owned subsidiary Unidym Inc. into a company that will focus on developing medical treatments.

The spinoff will be called Ensysce Biosciences Inc. and will research the medical uses for carbon nanotubes, which are molecular tubes of carbon with a range of electrical properties. The technology is being viewed as a possible drug-delivery system. The new company also will fund research at Stanford University that focuses on delivering chemotherapy drugs.

Shares in Pasadena-based nanotechnology firm Arrowhead were up 7 percent to $2.47 in early trading Tuesday.

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