Intradigm Corporation Announces Development of siRNA Inhibitors of SARS coronavirus

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Intradigm Corporation, a leader in RNAi application in vivo, has obtained results showing that newly developed siRNA agents selective for specific SARS viral genes can inhibit viral infection and replication in cell based studies showing up to 90 percent inhibition of the virus. The results were obtained from a collaboration that includes Qiagen and Top Biotech, Ltd (Hong Kong).

In the studies performed, a large number of siRNA agents directed toward genes throughout the SARS coronavirus genome were designed by Qiagen and Intradigm, synthesized by Qiagen, and tested in non-human primate cells exposed to SARS virus. The results reveal which SARS viral sequences provide the best targets for inhibition of viral infection and replication and in addition, strong synergistic effects of inhibiting several targets simultaneously. The results provide strong evidence that the siRNA agents developed are specific and potent agents for inhibition of SARS coronavirus.

Intradigm has developed systemic and local siRNA delivery technologies for knocking down disease genes in animals and has validated in in-vivo models the therapeutic potentials of siRNA agents for treatment of cancer, viral infection and other unmet clinical needs. Using effective airway delivery of siRNA duplexes specific to SARS coronavirus, a single stranded RNA virus, may represent a novel approach to treat the deadly infection. Intradigm has established collaboration for development of siRNA based anti-SARS therapy with scientists in National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the United States and in Hong Kong and Guangzhou of China.

John Spears, chairman and CEO of Intradigm said, "We are very excited to see this result, which is further evidence that the utilization of siRNA may potentially enable rapid identification and development of anti-viral therapeutics. We are looking forward to working with Qiagen and our other partners for further development of siRNA based therapeutics."

The in-vitro studies were conducted in laboratories in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China, sponsored by Guangdong provincial government and Top Biotech, Ltd (Hong Kong) where the scientific teams, led by professors Nanshan Zhong, Baojian Li and Bojian Zheng, are composed of scientists from Guangzhou Medical University, Zhongshan University, Hong Kong University and Top Biotech, Ltd. Intradigm's scientific team has worked closely with these Chinese collaborators.

Intradigm Corporation is a privately held Delaware corporation that is discovering and developing therapeutic products by applying proprietary in vivo RNAi delivery technologies.

Source: Intradigm Corporation

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