PALO ALTO, Calif., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Intradigm Corporation, a leading developer of targeted, systemic RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has allowed U.S. patent application 10/859,337 which generally claims methods of enhancing the RNA silencing activity of an RNAi agent in a mammalian or plant cell. The allowed subject matter is not only focused on claims to siRNAs but also includes specific coverage for micro RNAs (miRNAs), miRNA precursors, primary miRNA transcripts and short hairpin RNA (shRNA). The allowed application, based on the seminal research by Philip Zamore, Ph.D., is one of several applications disclosing certain efficacy-enhancing structural elements of RNAis that Intradigm exclusively licensed from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
"The USPTO's allowance of these patent claims represents an important milestone for Intradigm as it will allow us to incorporate novel enhanced RNAi sequences into our proprietary RNAi delivery systems to create potent and efficacious therapeutics," said Mohammad Azab, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Intradigm. "It is also important to note that the complete IP portfolio that we exclusively licensed from the University of Massachusetts Medical School includes several additional applications that relate to the 'Zamore Design Rules.'"
"We are very pleased that the USPTO has recognized the novel and valuable research conducted by University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers into the rapidly evolving field of RNA interference," said James P. McNamara, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Office of Technology Management at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Based on the work conducted in our laboratories, we believe that the claims covered by this allowed patent application have the potential to play an important role in helping to realize the tremendous therapeutic promise of RNA interference."
Strengthened by recent strategic IP licensing deals with both the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Intradigm possesses one of the industry's strongest RNAi IP positions. Intradigm's IP estate of issued patents broadly covers structural features for a next generation of RNAi molecules, biodegradable polycationic polymers for the delivery of RNAi therapeutics, and proprietary siRNA sequence applications.
ABOUT THE RNAi NANOPLEX DELIVERY TECHNOLOGY
To address the issue of effective and targeted delivery of RNAi therapeutics, Intradigm has developed and in-licensed an extensive intellectual property portfolio around its proprietary RNAi Nanoplex (NPX) delivery technology. The RNAi NPX delivery technology is a modular, multi- component delivery vector that carries active siRNA molecules in its core with the flexibility to attach a Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) layer and/or a targeting ligand to the polymer-siRNA NPX to improve circulation half life and achieve selective distribution to the target tissue. At the core of the RNAi NPX delivery technology is Intradigm's proprietary peptide-based biodegradable polymer known as PolyTran(TM). PolyTran enables safe systemic delivery of the siRNAs. Additionally, this platform is unique in its ability to offer tissue specific targeting of siRNA through the attachment of specific ligands directed to target cell receptors.
An additional key strength of the RNAi NPX delivery technology is its ability to incorporate multiple siRNAs in a single drug product. These multi- targeted therapeutics can simultaneously silence several mRNAs that represent parallel or synergistic elements of the same disease pathway resulting in a more comprehensive and/or novel therapeutic potential.
Intradigm is a private biotechnology company committed to the development of systematic RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases with an initial focus on oncology. The company's expertise in drug development and delivery serves as the foundation of Intradigm's RNAi platform. In particular, the company's novel and proprietary RNAi Nanoplex delivery technology is unique in its ability to enable the targeted delivery of RNAi therapeutics to specific tissues through systemic administration of the drug product. The company is also establishing collaborative relationships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies through which Intradigm's targeted RNAi delivery technology can be applied to a broad range of therapeutic targets. For more information on Intradigm, please visit http://www.intradigm.com.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SCHOOL
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world- class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $179 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The work of UMMS researcher Craig Mello, PhD, an investigator of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and his colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, then of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, toward the discovery of RNA interference was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has spawned a new and promising field of research, the global impact of which may prove astounding. UMMS is the academic partner of UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health care provider in Central Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://www.umassmed.edu.
CONTACT: Phil Haworth of Intradigm Corporation, +1-650-855-1514,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or investors, Stephanie Diaz, +1-415-675-7400,
email@example.com, or media, Tim Brons, +1-415-675-7402,
firstname.lastname@example.org, both of Vida Communication, for Intradigm
Web site: http://www.intradigm.com/