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GEN News Highlights : Jan 11, 2007

RXi Deploys UMass Medical School’s Nanotransporters

Technology delivers intact RNAi to a number of tissues in animal models.

CytRx says that its subsidiary RXi Pharmaceuticals licensed RNAi intellectual property for all therapeutic applications from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).

The agreement includes an exclusive therapeutic license with rights to sublicense for nanotransporters, which have been shown to deliver intact RNAi to a number of tissues in animal models. The licenses are contingent upon RXi’s receipt of working capital funding in the coming months.

Tariq M. Rana, Ph.D., professor and founding director of the program in chemical biology at UMMS and developer of the nanotransporters, reported activity with RNAi delivered with nanotransporters in mouse models at 1 milligram per kilogram. The nanotransporters are highly uniform in structure and are readily formulated by simply mixing with RNAi compounds.

The RXi licensed technology also includes compounds for the potential treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that can be delivered locally to the central nervous system. In addition, the technology includes methods of targeting point mutations with RNAi that may be useful in targeting mutations that cause certain cancers and genetic diseases.