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Contact: John Sterling, 914-740-2196, jsterling@genengnews.com
GEN Reports on siRNA Therapeutic Delivery Strategies

New Rochelle, NY, April 15, 2011-Despite the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) over a decade ago and the billions of dollars spent developing therapeutic applications, delivery issues continue to challenge the field, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). To address these problems, researchers are creating novel strategies to achieve a safe and effective mode of delivery, according to the April 15 issue of GEN.

"Scientists are beginning to take a much closer look at nanoparticles and nanotubes as carriers for short interfering RNAs (siRNAs)," said John Sterling, Editor in Chief of GEN. "Studies are also being conducted to refine homing strategies for delivery utilizing the well-known specificity of antibodies."

Xavier de Mollerat Du Jeu, Ph.D., staff scientist at Life Technologies, noted that the most promising results for siRNA delivery in vivo have been obtained with liposomes. His company, which has developed lipid-based nanoparticles for in vivo animal work, recently launched Invivofectamine® 2.0 reagent. After a single intravenous injection of 5 mg/kg FactorVII siRNAs complexed with Invivofectamine 2.0, Dr. de Mollerat Du Jeu said his team observed 90% mRNA and protein level reduction in the liver for more than three weeks.

EGEN is focusing on synthesizing biocompatible delivery vehicles to deliver genes as well as siRNAs. The firm is relying on a variety of different delivery approaches in its TheraSilence™ platform that has been specifically designed for in vivo RNAi applications including lipids, polymers, and lipopolyamines. With its lipopolyamine nanoparticle systems a single lipid-based core structure with a flexible head group is used to allow for modification by covalent attachment of functional groups such as polyethylene glycol and targeting ligands. Various ratios of the core structure with the modified structures to optimize delivery for different applications can then be dialed in.

Also discussed in the GEN article is siRNA delivery research taking place at the University of London and Tel Aviv University.

For a copy of the April 15 issue of GEN, please call (914) 740-2122, or email: ebicovny@liebertpub.com