CytRx Subsidiary Licenses Nanotransporters and other RNAi Discoveries from the University of Massachusetts Medical School
News Jan 15, 2007
CytRx Corporation has announced that RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXi) has entered into new agreements with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) to license RNA interference (RNAi) intellectual property for all therapeutic applications.
RNAi has been shown to interfere with the expression of targeted disease-associated genes with great specificity and potency, and was co-discovered by 2006 Nobel Laureate Dr. Craig C. Mello, who is expected to become a scientific advisor of RXi pending institutional approval.
The agreements include an exclusive therapeutic license with rights to sublicense for nanotransporters, which have been shown to deliver intact RNAi to a number of tissues in animal models. The licenses are contingent upon RXi’s receipt of working capital funding in the coming months. Financial terms were not disclosed for competitive reasons.
“If RXi is able to offer a new method for treating a broad range of diseases, RNAi therapeutics could become as important as small molecules and antibody drugs,” said Steven A. Kriegsman, President and CEO of CytRx.
In treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), physicians can have a hard time telling which newly diagnosed patients have a high risk of severe inflammation or what therapies will be most effective. Now researchers report finding an epigenetic signature in patient cells that appears to predict inflammation risk in a serious type of IBD called Crohn’s disease.