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Posted: August 19, 2008
Novel Cationic Peptides from University of Michigan Improve siRNA Delivery
(Nanowerk News) MDRNA, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA) announced today that it has signed an exclusive license agreement to intellectual property from the University of Michigan covering cationic peptides for enhanced delivery of nucleic acids. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"The University of Michigan peptides have unique characteristics that we believe play an important role in improving the efficacy of delivery of RNAi-based therapeutics," stated Michael Houston, Ph.D., Vice President of Chemistry and Formulations. "These cationic peptides have the potential of being critical components of RNAi-based therapeutic formulations. We are currently using these peptides to create siRNA nanoparticles to enhance gene expression knockdown. Together with the DiLA(2) Platform of novel delivery lipids, these delivery peptides improve the therapeutic potential of our drug candidates."
The small cationic peptides covered by the University of Michigan intellectual property are capable of forming stable siRNA nanoparticle complexes, thereby protecting the siRNA while increasing the efficiency and efficacy of the formulations. In addition, they can also enhance endosomal release, an important step in delivering siRNAs to their site of action inside cells. Results to date have demonstrated both enhanced knockdown of target proteins in vivo as well as improvement in delivery efficiency.
About the DiLA(2) Platform
The DiLA(2) Platform is MDRNA's proprietary platform for creating novel lipids from amino acids. The platform enables MDRNA to tailor the charge, linker and acyl chains such that the properties of the liposome are optimized for delivery to the target tissue of interest. In addition, the platform is amenable to attachment of various peptides to improve a variety of delivery characteristics including nanoparticle formulation, cellular uptake, endosomal release and cell/tissue targeting.
About MDRNA, Inc.
MDRNA is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products based on RNA interference (RNAi).