Unlocked nucleic acid reduces sense- and antisense-mediated off-target effects.

MDRNA obtained intellectual property related to non-nucleotide chemistry technology from RiboTask. Unlocked nucleic acid (UNA) will permit MDRNA to stabilize and provide drug-like properties to RISC and dicer length siRNAs.

“Unlocked Nucleic Acid, an acyclic ribonucleoside analog, increases the breadth of MDRNA’s technology platform by providing additional, novel RNA chemistries,” according to Michael Templin, Ph.D., vp of drug discovery and pharmaceutical development. “The research we have conducted in our laboratories suggests that the addition of UNA increases siRNA stability, reduces off-target activity, and improves gene silencing, characteristics that are widely accepted as key to improved siRNA safety and efficacy.”

RiboTask is leveraging the UNA technology in diagnostic and reagent applications. In UNAs, the bond between C2′ and C3′ atoms is broken. This change in sugar structure makes the nucleoside analog flexible. This in turn reduces the binding affinity between two strands of an siRNA molecule.

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