Technology Designed to Improve siRNA Delivery

May 8, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Polyplus-transfection, a company that researches, develops, and commercializes drug-delivery solutions for biomolecules, created a new technology designed to enhance in vivo delivery of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) when they are associated with a cationic polymer.

Strasbourg, France (Apr. 29)-Polyplus-transfection, a company that researches, develops, and commercializes drug-delivery solutions for biomolecules, created a new technology designed to enhance in vivo delivery of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) when they are associated with a cationic polymer. The technology relies on the company’s "sticky siRNAs" (ssiRNAs), a class of siRNAs.

The technology adds complementary sequences to the opposite ends of interfering RNAs. When a cationic polymer such as the company’s “in vivo jetPEI” is present, ssiRNAs stick together end to end and form stable complexes. The technology ensures that siRNAs stay connected to their delivery reagent en route to the target cells and stimulate the RNA interference mechanism. The new strategy can be used with therapeutic siRNAs to treat cancers, allergies, viruses, and other diseases.

Cationic lipids have been a favored strategy for the delivery of therapeutic siRNAs. The ssiRNA technology enables cationic polymers to be used in this application.

In a company press release, Joëlle Bloch, CEO of Polyplus-transfection, said that “ssiRNAs are starting to be tested in vivo by several academic laboratories and biotechnology companies.”

RNA interference is a natural mechanism in cells that allows specific gene expression to be selectively silenced and regulated. This technique enables the treatment of genetic diseases and helps scientists understand the roles and interrelations of genes.

Transfection is the introduction of a gene or a siRNA into a cell for therapeutic purposes.