ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (OTCBB: ACCP), a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary drug-delivery platforms to develop treatments in areas of oncology, cancer supportive care and diabetes, announced it has entered into an agreement with a major player in RNAi industry to exploit its CobaCyte and CobOral technology for the targeted delivery of RNAi therapeutics. Access will provide the pharmaceutical company with CobOral and CobaCyte siRNA formulations for evaluation of gene knockdown following oral and intravenous administration. Access indicated that any successful formulation developed will be jointly owned by the Parties and subject to a subsequent full licensing agreement.
"We are pleased to have signed an agreement with another major player in RNAi therapeutics as it continues to validate the advances in both our CobOral and CobaCyte technology platforms," said Phillip Wise, VP Business Development and Strategy, Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He continued, "We believe the distinct advantages our CobOral and CobaCyte technologies offers is well-suited for the company's RNAi products and we look forward to the collaborative work ahead."
RNAi is typically initiated by the introduction of small fragments of RNA, typically siRNA or miRNA, into cells at disease sites. Due to their large size and high negative charge, these RNA fragments are not able to cross cell membranes. Therefore, to develop effective RNAi therapeutics, a delivery system must be developed that can transport the siRNA into cells, and release undamaged siRNA into target cell cytoplasm. Access' CobOral and CobaCyte delivery technologies, which are based on vitamin B12, are particularly well-suited for this purpose. Most human cells have a requirement for vitamin B12 which is served by cell surface receptors which facilitate absorption of this vitamin. In many diseases, the demand for vitamin B12 is increased, with a corresponding upregulation of the receptor. Using the 'Trojan Horse' principle, the CobaCyte nanoparticle technology can utilize the vitamin B12 uptake mechanism to transport siRNA into cells whereupon native siRNA can be released for incorporation in messenger RNA (mRNA) to initiate the beneficial therapeutic effect. In this way, CobaCyte offers the potential for targeted delivery of siRNA following intravenous administration. The fact that Access' vitamin B12 technology also facilitates oral drug delivery (the CobOral technology) indicates that it may also be possible for this technology to provide effective siRNA treatments by oral drug delivery.
Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc.