Officials of Kylin Therapeutics Inc. has announced on Thursday (July 5) that it has obtained from Purdue University an exclusive license to a RNA interference (RNAi) delivery technology called "pRNA."
The license agreement includes more than 12 patent applications covering pRNA. The pRNA technology was invented and developed by Peixuan Guo when he was a professor of molecular virology and biomedical engineering and faculty scholar at Purdue University.
Guo served as director of Purdue's Nanobiotechnology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and as director of a NIH Nanomedicine Development Center. Currently, he is an endowed professor and director of the Nanomedicine Bionanotechnology Center at the University of Cincinnati.
"RNAi was the subject of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology and is regarded as one of the most important therapeutic discovery in decades," Guo said. "Through the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA), RNAi-based technologies can be used to silence disease-causing genes.
"The therapeutic relevance of siRNA is in jeopardy unless it can be delivered in a targeted fashion. pRNA solves this problem for RNAi and other RNA-based therapeutics."
Kylin's Therapeutics lead product is a pRNA-based therapeutic to treat cancer, and the company's initial plans are to focus on cancer therapy, with follow-on treatments for viral diseases such as AIDS.
"RNAi represents a paradigm shift in the pharmaceutical industry giving clinicians and scientists the ability to selectively silence disease-causing genes. pRNA is the missing link necessary for RNAi to be delivered in a targeted, systemic fashion," said Eric Davis, CEO of Kylin Therapeutics, which is a Purdue Research Park company. "This will allow Kylin to realize RNAi's full therapeutic potential."
IN-vivo Ventures and Golden Pine Ventures helped to form Kylin Therapeutics and provided seed financing to launch the company's development efforts.