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U.S., Europe Patents Issued for RNAi Drug Delivery

DNA fragment (Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. in Vancouver, Canada, a developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, says that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO) have issued patents covering elements of Tekmira’s lipid nanoparticle technology for delivering nucleic acid therapeutics, including small interfering RNA (siRNA).

RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat a broad number of human diseases by “silencing” disease causing genes. Tekmira says RNAi therapeutics, such as siRNAs, require delivery technology, such as lipid nanoparticles, to be systematically effective.

The EPO has granted claims (No. 1 519 714 B1) covering Tekmira’s manufacturing process and apparatus for the production of lipid nanoparticles, a process reviewed by multiple international regulatory agencies and used in several ongoing clinical trials.

The USPTO has granted claims (No. 7,807,815) covering the identification and modification of siRNA sequence motifs responsible for immune stimulation.  Tekmira says this case is the first in a series of patent filings covering methods of mitigating siRNA immune stimulation through chemical modification.  These claims flow from Tekmira’s research on the sequence-dependent stimulation of the innate immune response by nucleic acids, including siRNA.

Tekmira provides its technology through manufacturing services to pharmaceutical partners, including Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Takeda, the United States government’s Transformational Medical Technologies program.

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