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siRNAsense Chooses Polyplus Transfection's Delivery System


6/13/2008 12:23:46 PM

Oslo, Norway June 13, 2008 - siRNAsense today announces that the company has chosen to use Polyplus-transfection's "in vivo-jetPEI" delivery system for the systemic delivery of their drug candidate "siRNA targeting Tissue Factor" for treatment of melanoma metastasis. siRNAsense selected Polyplus´ delivery system after experimental validation of several potential delivery systems.

"We have chosen the Polyplus delivery system because we found it to be well suited for systemic delivery of our drug candidate against melanoma metastasis. This is a very important step for siRNAsense. Following encouraging efficacy data in a mouse model of metastasis, we are now proceeding with preclinical studies in mice and primates to further develop our drug candidate using Polyplus´ delivery system", says Hanne Mette Kristensen, CEO of siRNAsense.

siRNA is short for "small interfering RNA" and represents a major breakthrough in biology, whose potential therapeutic impact was recognized by the award of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2006. siRNAsense's drug candidate is a synthetic siRNA that interferes with metastasis of melanoma, primarily by inhibiting circulating cancer cells' ability to attach to other cell membranes. For the drug to be efficient, it must be formulated in a vehicle which ensures delivery to the cancer cells. This is where Polyplus-transfection's technology has proven to be effective.

"We are delighted that siRNAsense has chosen our delivery system. We look forward to future collaboration with siRNAsense," said Joëlle Bloch, CEO of Polyplus-transfection. "It is an advantage for our "in vivo-jetPEI" to be used as delivery reagent for a new therapeutic target: the treatment of melanoma metastasis."

Both companies will be present at BIO 2008 in San Diego, USA, June 16th-20th. siRNAsense: Booth 2131 and Polyplus-transfection: Booth 2701

About siRNAsense
Find and fight the cause, not the symptoms.

siRNAsense AS is an exciting biotechnology company based on RNA interference research performed at The Biotechnology Centre of Oslo. The discovery of RNA interference is the basis for development of a new class of drugs targeting serious diseases. siRNAsense intends to become a significant player of biomedical innovation and early phase drug discovery and development within the field of RNA interference. The company will achieve this through research and development of drug candidates initially within the oncology area.

siRNAsense's first drug candidate is "siRNA targeting Tissue Factor". The drug candidate interferes with metastasis in cancer cells by blocking the cancer cells' ability to attach to other cell membranes. Over 90 per cent of cancer deaths are caused by metastasis. siRNAsense will now initiate clinical phase enabling studies with the lead drug candidate.

The company recently received a major grant from the Research Council of Norway to develop the drug candidate, and has also previously received support from the Council and the Norwegian Cancer Society. siRNAsense is a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC), a cluster comprising of 44 members with a total of 40 projects in the clinical pipeline. The company continues to enjoy close research collaboration with the Biotechnology Centre of Oslo.

siRNAsense has a good dialogue with several of the major pharma companies, and receives a lot of interest in its work. The business model is to license out from phase I/II clinical studies. For more information visit http://www.sirnasense.com

About Polyplus-transfection
Polyplus-transfection is focused on developing innovative solutions for delivery of biomolecules. The company has been marketing its transfection reagents worldwide since 2001 and is reinvesting most of its revenues in research and development.

Transfection consists in introducing a gene or a small interfering RNA into cells. This technique makes it possible to cross the cellular barriers and deliver such biomolecules into the cells for research or therapeutic purposes.

Customers of Polyplus-transfection's products and services include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as well as life science academic laboratories. Polyplus-transfection offers high quality consultancy, personalized scientific support and expertise in regulatory affairs related to the use of its reagents in clinical trials. Phases I/II cancer gene therapy and AIDS trials are underway in Israel, USA, Sweden and Germany using GMP-compliant reagents from Polyplus-transfection.

The Strasbourg-based company is recognized as a leading innovator in the transfection market, with ISO 9001:2000 certification, exclusive licenses from the CNRS and numerous patent applications pending. Polyplus-transfection R&D has well-established partnerships with biotech companies and is also involved in several European research collaboration networks, such as GIANT (Gene Therapy, an Integrated Approach to Neoplastic Treatment) and RIGHT (RNA Interference Technology as Human Therapeutic Tool). Polyplus-transfection recently extended its field of expertise to the development of new cationic oligonucleotides, ZNA (Zip Nucleic Acid), for molecular biology and diagnostics.

For more information, visit: http://www.polyplus-transfection.com

Company contacts:
Hanne Mette D. Kristensen, CEO siRNAsense
Tel + 47 97 19 7449 E-mail: hannemette@sirnasense.com
Media inquires:
Richard Hayhurst, Hayhurst Media
Tel +44 (0) 7711821527 Email: Richard@hayhurstmedia.com



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