In addition, Intradigm announced that it has formally selected ICS-283, a novel cancer agent, as its lead RNAi product candidate.
ICS-283 is the only systemic RNAi therapeutic in preclinical development against a clinically validated oncology target (vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF).
Under terms of the agreement, Agilent will provide the siRNA material to Intradigm, according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, to support the initiation of clinical development for ICS-283. Intradigm expects to initiate clinical development of this candidate in 2008.
"Agilent's track-record establishes them as the clear partner of choice for the manufacture of siRNAs and we are thrilled to be collaborating with the company in support of ICS-283, our lead development candidate," said Mohammad Azab, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Intradigm.
"By establishing this relationship with a leading GMP provider of siRNA components, we have taken a critical step toward securing ICS-283's advancement into the clinic," Mr. Azab added.
ICS-283 is a nanoparticle-based siRNA compound that targets the VEGF pathway. Being developed as a treatment for a variety of cancer indications, the compound is comprised of multiple siRNAs that target both VEGF and its receptor.
Data from several in vivo models, including xenograft models of different cancers, have confirmed an RNAi-mediated anti-angiogenic effect following systemic administration similar to VEGF antibody. VEGF, as an established target in the treatment of cancer, provides a clear clinical development path to validate the success of Intradigm's systemic delivery of siRNA in man.
"We are excited that Intradigm, a true innovator in the field of RNAi therapeutics, has selected Agilent as its manufacturing partner for ICS-283," stated James Powell, general manager of Agilent's Nucleic Acid Solutions Division.
"At Agilent, we are committed to excellence in oligonucleotide manufacturing to support today's most innovative therapies. To this end, we are proud to provide our manufacturing expertise to Intradigm as the company prepares to advance its promising lead drug candidate into the clinic," Powell added.