RXi Pharmaceuticals and EyeGate Pharma are teaming up on the ocular delivery of RNAi therapeutics. The collaboration will explore the use of EyeGate’s iontophoresis technology called EyeGate® II to deliver RXi’s sd-rxRNA™ (self-delivering rxRNA) compounds to the eye in preclinical models.
“In preclinical studies, our sd-rxRNA compounds have shown effective gene silencing in the retina following intraocular injection,” says Noah D. Beerman, president and CEO at RXi. “Combining our RNAi technology with EyeGate’s unique, noninvasive ocular delivery system, EyeGate II, provides us with the potential opportunity to develop novel treatments for many ocular diseases and to improve treatment options.”
Iontophoresis is a method of drug delivery that uses a low-level electrical current to deliver a drug across the ocular surface into the eye. Once inside the eye, it is believed that RXi’s sd-rxRNA compounds will have access to retinal cells and, by virtue of their self-delivering properties, enter these cells and silence disease-causing genes.
EyeGate’s technology is currently being studied in a Phase III trial with anti-inflammatory product EGP-437. The compound is being investigated as a treatment for dry eye, and completed Phase II testing in uveitis.