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Jan 9, 2012

miRagen and Silence Evaluate Liver-Targeting Delivery Platform for miRNAs

  • miRagen Therapeutics signed an agreement with Silence Therapeutics to evaluate the potential combination of the latter’s DBTC delivery system with its own microRNA-based therapeutics. Under terms of the deal Silence will formulate specific miRagen miRNA sequences with the DBTC system to generate multiple drug candidates. miRagen will then carry out in vitro and in vivo studies and select lead candidates for further collaborations.

    “This is the third collaboration that we have recently signed to explore the use of Silence’s delivery technologies for microRNAs, and the second that utilizes our novel DBTC delivery system that specifically delivers RNAi therapeutics to the liver,” remarks Thomas Christely, Silence CEO. “While we remain internally focused on the delivery of our siRNA therapies, we continue to broaden the potential value of our proprietary delivery systems by collaborating with partners.”

    Silence is exploiting three delivery systems. AtuPLEX™ is designed to broadly deliver siRNA to vascular endothelial cells of various organs. The DACC system specifically delivers siRNA to vascular endothelial cells of the lung, and DBTC delivers siRNA to hepatocytes and the hepatic vascular system of the liver parenchyma. Just last week the firm reported successful completion of research work under a research collaboration and delivery collaboration with partner AstraZeneca and the latter’s biologics arm, MedImmune.

    In October 2011 Silence inked an agreement with Mirna Therapeutics to assess Silence’s AtuPLEX and DBTC platforms for delivering Mirna’s microRNAs. The firm’s third ongoing drug delivery deal, with an undisclosed global pharma, was signed in September 2011 and is centered on evaluating the DACC platform for the intravenous delivery of siRNAs to the pulmonary vascular endothelium.

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