Tuesday, November 20, 2012

RNAi Feud Is Over

Despite many problems there is still a lot of enthusiasm about using siRNA for therapeutic purposes. Alnylam and Tekmira are two of the better companies in the commercial RNAi arena. However, for the last year or so they have been locked in a legal battle concerning some formulations (termed Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs)) used to deliver siRNA. It has been sad to see them waste resources on a patent squabble at this critical time for the field. Now apparently this dispute has been settled (see CEN report below).  Thus presumably things will move more smoothly in applying LNPs to deliver siRNA to targets in the liver, where the technology works great.

But what about targets in organs other than the liver? LNPs have a dismal record in this context since they are too big to cross capillary walls in most tissues. Industrial and academic scientists need to work together to develop some advanced siRNA delivery technologies that will have a broader reach within the body.  


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