Sirna Therapeutics awarded patent covering large-scale synthesis of RNAi-based therapeutics

Sirna Therapeutics has announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Sirna U.S. Patent No. 6,989,442 for the chemical synthesis and manufacturing of ribonucleic acids (RNA).

The patent broadly covers a process for the synthesis, deprotection and purification of nucleic acids with one or more ribonucleotides. This process is critical for the efficient synthesis of RNA at high yields and high purity and is applicable to both small- and large-scale production of oligonucleotides such as siRNAs and aptamers. The patent further expands Sirna's leadership position in the area of synthesis and manufacturing of GMP quality RNA which is required for both chemically modified and unmodified siRNA-based therapeutics.

Sirna is the only RNAi therapeutics company with its own cGMP manufacturing capacity and can produce approximately 25 kilograms per year of oligonucleotide-based compounds. Sirna has produced all material for human testing of Sirna-027, its siRNA-based clinical candidate for Age-related Macular Degeneration. Sirna-027 is partnered with Allergan and is expected to enter Phase II human trials in the second quarter of 2006. Sirna will also be producing clinical material for Sirna-AV34, its clinical candidate for the treatment of hepatitis C, which is expected to enter the clinic this year.

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