MDRNA Expands RNAi Bladder Cancer Program with the Vancouver Prostate Centre
News Nov 25, 2009
MDRNA, Inc. has announced the extension and expansion of its collaboration with the Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC), covering the discovery and development of RNAi-based therapeutics for the treatment of bladder cancer.
Research conducted by scientists and surgeons from both institutions demonstrated that MDRNA's UsiRNA targeting human survivin and delivered via DiLA2 liposomes achieved up to 90% target knockdown in a mouse model of orthotopic bladder cancer.
The effects of UsiRNA persisted for the duration of the three week study, and the level of survivin mRNA knockdown was associated with a significant reduction in tumor growth as measured by fluorescence from luciferase-expressing tumor cells.
"Intravesical delivery of the survivin UsiRNA using MDRNA's DiLA2 liposome formulation specifically targeted to a bladder tumor has yielded encouraging results that could lead to the development of useful therapies in patients with bladder cancer," said Dr. Alan. So, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Research Scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, and the study's principal investigator.
"We are looking forward to expanding our current studies as the success of RNAi cancer therapeutics will be dependent upon the development of safe and efficacious delivery systems such as those being developed by MDRNA," Dr. Alan said.
The collaboration with VPC's world-renowned clinical cancer research lab was formed in 2008 to investigate MDRNA's UsiRNAs and DiLA2 delivery platform in one of the Centre's well-validated bladder cancer models. The VPC is a National Centre of Excellence for translational research located at the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver General Hospital.
In light of current results demonstrating efficient delivery and high potency for RNAi, the program will expand to evaluate UsiRNAs targeting other critical pathways in cancer, the impact on tumor biology, tumor growth, and survival rates. These studies are considered essential to identify the most effective target and dosing regimens for clinical intervention. MDRNA recently presented detailed results of the initial research at the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer.
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.