SARS siRNA studied further to help many respiratory diseases including lung cancer

Intradigm Corporation, has announced achievement of prophylactic and therapeutic effects of siRNA (small interfering RNA) inhibitors of SARS-CoV in non-human primate cells. The results are published in the June 2004 issue of Antiviral Therapy (International Medical Press).

The study was conducted in collaboration and co-authored with scientists from Hong Kong University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Top Genomics, Ltd. of Guangzhou, of China and Qiagen Sciences, Inc. (Germantown, MD).

The published results show that siRNA duplexes are potent and specific inhibitors of SARS-CoV, protecting cells from both viral infection and replication. The results revealed SARS genome sequences sensitive to RNAi (RNA interference), and also illustrated synergistic effects multiple siRNA sequences are combined.

The studies show that siRNA degrades viral genomic RNA, in addition to inhibition of viral protein expression and laid the foundation for ongoing in vivo efficacy and toxicity studies in a non-human primate model of SARS. Importantly, these results show that siRNA therapeutics for viral infections can be developed in an extremely short time frame, requiring only a genomic sequence of any new virus and appropriate delivery systems.

Intradigm's SARS siRNA are being studied further using its technology for airway delivery that can be applied to many respiratory diseases including lung cancer. "We are very excited by this peer-reviewed publication on our SARS siRNA, which is further evidence that siRNA agents exhibit unique properties enabling rapid identification and development of therapeutics for respiratory viral infections and other diseases.

The success of this in vitro study provides a solid foundation for further preclinical development, and it also benefits from a fruitful international collaboration," said John Spears, Chairman and CEO of Intradigm.

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