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Posted: Apr 13, 2011
Access Pharmaceuticals Signs Agreement With Major Global Pharmaceutical Company for RNAi Therapeutic Delivery Technologies
(Nanowerk News) Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary drug-delivery platforms to develop treatments in areas of oncology, cancer supportive care and diabetes, announced it has entered into an agreement with a major pharmaceutical company to exploit its CobaCyte and CobOral technology for the targeted delivery of RNAi therapeutics. Access will provide the pharmaceutical company with CobOral and CobaCyte siRNA formulations for evaluation of gene knockdown following oral and intravenous administration. Though the terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, Access indicated that any successful formulation developed will be jointly owned by the Parties and subject to a subsequent full licensing agreement.
"We have made great progress in our CobOral and CobaCyte siRNA delivery programs over the past year, demonstrating the efficiency and safe delivery needed for a viable RNAi therapeutic," said Jeffrey B. Davis, President and CEO, Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He continued, "We are pleased with our recent advancements in both Cobalamin-based platforms for various indications and the strong interest it continues to garner from leading pharmaceutical companies. The signing of this agreement serves as further validation of our previous work related to our CobaCyte technology's unique ability to deliver inactivated siRNA particles to disease target sites. We believe our innovative approach is well-suited for this pharmaceutical company and look forward to the collaborative work ahead."
RNAi is typically initiated by the introduction of small fragments of RNA, typically siRNA or miRNA, into cells at disease sites. Due to their large size and high negative charge, these RNA fragments are not able to cross cell membranes. Therefore, to develop effective RNAi therapeutics, a delivery system must be developed that can transport the siRNA into cells, and release undamaged siRNA into target cell cytoplasm. Access' CobOral and CobaCyte delivery technologies, which are based on vitamin B12, are particularly well-suited for this purpose. Most human cells have a requirement for vitamin B12 which is served by cell surface receptors which facilitate absorption of this vitamin. In many diseases, the demand for vitamin B12 is increased, with a corresponding upregulation of the receptor. Using the 'Trojan Horse' principle, the CobaCyte nanoparticle technology can utilize the vitamin B12 uptake mechanism to transport siRNA into cells whereupon native siRNA can be released for incorporation in messenger RNA (mRNA) to initiate the beneficial therapeutic effect. In this way, CobaCyte offers the potential for targeted delivery of siRNA following intravenous administration. The fact that Access' vitamin B12 technology also facilitates oral drug delivery (the CobOral technology) indicates that it may also be possible for this technology to provide effective siRNA treatments by oral drug delivery.
Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes proprietary products for the treatment and supportive care of cancer patients. Access' products include MuGard™ (www.MuGard.com), which has received FDA marketing clearance for the management of patients with mucositis, ProLindac™, a second generation DACH Platinum in Phase 2 clinical testing of patients with ovarian cancer, and Thiarabine™, a novel nucleoside analog that has demonstrated both pre-clinical and clinical activity in certain cancers; currently in a Phase 1/2a trial in hematological malignancies at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
The company also has other advanced drug delivery technologies including CobaCyte™-mediated targeted delivery and CobOral-oral drug delivery, its proprietary nanopolymer delivery technology based on the natural vitamin B12 uptake mechanism. For additional information on Access Pharmaceuticals, please visit our website at www.accesspharma.com.