The past year has been exciting for oligonucleotide-based drug discovery and development. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Mello and Fire for discovering RNA interference. There was also big investment from the Pharmaceutical industry to Biotechnology companies-pioneers in oligonucleotide therapeutics such as Sirna, Alnylam and Isis, all US-based. High expectations were therefore raised but further progress is hampered by the issue of systemic delivery; siRNA oligonucleotides are ineffective in vivo whereas antisense DNA oligonucleotides can be effective for liver-specific targets only. Therefore, delivery systems are a matter of intense investigation with the most recent advances being cationic liposomes with PEGylation or diffusible PEGylation. However, these carriers face tolerability issues, non-specific immune stimulation or limited biodistribution. Novosom has developed a completely novel carrier system based on amphoteric liposomes. This incorporates structural features with unique charge-reversal properties which result into safety and performance advantages over the current best alternative carriers. The aim of this Consortium is to built on Novosom’s carrier technology to develop novel improved amphoteric liposomes with targeted delivery modalities to cells of the immune system, and to apply them for therapeutic oligonucleotide delivery to inflammatory diseases. Knowledge transfer between partners will facilitate the design of novel carriers, identification of targets and validation using in vivo models of inflammatory disease. The Consortium stems from two very successful one-to-one collaborations and proposes here a fully integrated program of translational, interdisciplinary research. Knowledge transfer between Novosom, a European leader in oligonucleotide delivery technologies, and two Academic Institutions of international standing in inflammatory disease therapeutics provides the competitiveness needed for a European team in this US-dominated field.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call
Funding SchemeMC-IAPP - Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP)