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Posted: July 28, 2010
SurModics And EGEN Partner For Feasibility Study of Controlled Release of siRNA Nanocomplexes
(Nanowerk News) SurModics, Inc., a leading provider of drug delivery and surface modification technologies to the healthcare industry and
EGEN, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing nucleic acid
(DNA and RNAi) therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases, are pleased to announce
they have executed a continuation of their feasibility collaboration focused on long-term
controlled release of siRNA complexes.
In work presented earlier this year at the Boston
TIDES 2010 meeting, the companies disclosed more than 100 days of sustained release of
siRNA nanocomplexes in vitro. Importantly, a high degree of gene knockdown was maintained
with little indication of degradation of the released complexes. The kinetics of siRNA
nanocomplex release can be modulated by alterations in formulation, providing a broad range
of extended release systems. In this work, EGEN's proprietary TheraSilence™ nanoparticles
were used in combination with SurModics' proprietary Eureka™ DUET platform. Work is
progressing to further optimize the combination of these technologies leading to evaluation in
relevant animal models.
Background on siRNA
Identification and characterization of mammalian siRNA mechanisms that control protein
production has resulted in an important new area of research, opening up the potential to
create entirely new classes of therapeutics that can specifically target genes responsible for a
variety of disease states. This breakthrough provides the ability to create siRNA-based drugs
that can lead to innovative treatments for many of the most devastating diseases such as
cancer and genetic disorders.
Long-term siRNA delivery systems offer the potential of increased safety and efficacy,
improved patient convenience (for example, with less dosing or injections), enhanced
compliance and ultimately better therapeutic response. In general, the field of siRNA is not yet
fully focused on long-term delivery, but it is expected that for many disease indications this will
increasingly become a focus as siRNA based products get closer to market.
"We are thrilled to be working with the team at EGEN and are excited about the compelling
data generated to date. At SurModics, we like to maintain a balance of cutting edge
innovation. Many of our efforts are focused on creating new technologies and products for
customers in the relative near-term. Others, however, like this extended release of siRNA, are
ones where we intend to establish a leadership technology position for customers 2, 5, and 10
years in the future," said Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of SurModics.
Khursheed Anwer, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of EGEN added, "The
program with SurModics employs our TheraSilence™ technology for sustained delivery of
therapeutic RNAi. The extended release data generated from the collaborative work is
impressive and warrants continuation of this exciting joint effort. A key mission for EGEN is to
apply our broad-based RNAi delivery technology platform to create novel solutions for human
About EGEN, Inc.
EGEN, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing
therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases, particularly cancer. The Company
specializes in the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids (DNA and RNAi) aimed at specific
disease targets via its proprietary TheraPlasTM and TheraSilence™ technologies. EGEN has
a significant portfolio of functionalized, biocompatible synthetic delivery systems for use in
combination with DNA, RNA and other biomacromolecules for therapeutic applications. EGEN
is located in Huntsville, Alabama in the Hudson-Alpha Institute of Biotechnology. More
information about the company can be found at www.egeninc.com
About SurModics, Inc.
SurModics' vision is to extend and improve the lives of patients through technology innovation.
The Company partners with the world's foremost medical device, pharmaceutical and life
science companies to develop and commercialize innovative products that result in improved
diagnosis and treatment for patients. Core offerings include: drug delivery technologies
(coatings, microparticles, nanoparticles, and implants); surface modification coating
technologies that impart lubricity, prohealing, and biocompatibility capabilities; and
components for in vitro diagnostic test kits and specialized surfaces for cell culture and
microarrays. SurModics is headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and its SurModics
Pharmaceuticals subsidiary is located in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information about
the Company, visit www.surmodics.com. The content of SurModics' website is not part of this
release or part of any filings the Company makes with the SEC.