Sirnaomics Receives Two SBIR Grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Developing siRNA Therapeutics to Treat Glioblastoma and Influenza Infection
6/29/2010 11:15:15 AM
GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Sirnaomics, Inc. (www.sirnaomics.com) announced today that the company has received two SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grants from National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), of National Institute of Health (NIH). Sirnaomics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company founded in early 2007, is dedicated to developing RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics for treatment of critical human diseases. The company's multi-targeted siRNA therapeutic programs utilizing its nanoparticle-enhanced delivery technologies represent a unique approach for truly realizing the advantages of small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based drugs. Since its establishment, Sirnaomics has successfully attracted grants and investments from NIH, the State of Maryland (Department of Business and Economics Development -- DBED), Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) and Montgomery County Technology Growth Programs (TGP), in addition to the State of Maryland Tax Credit Program for Biotechnology Investment and a venture capital group.
Sirnaomics' mission is to advance siRNA therapeutics by using its proprietary multi-targeted siRNA design together with the company's nanoparticle-mediated siRNA delivery vehicles. Through in-house efforts and collaborations, Sirnaomics has developed nanoparticle-based siRNA delivery systems in three generations: the self-assembled nanoparticles (1st), ligand-directed nanoparticles (2nd) and infrared-activated nanoparticles (3rd), for various types of therapeutic applications. The company's siRNA therapeutic programs currently are under development for treatment of cancer, respiratory infections, scarless wound healing and others.
"Receiving an SBIR grant from NCI for development of siRNA therapeutics to treat Glioblastoma has further demonstrated the scientific merits of Sirnaomics' siRNA therapeutic program on oncology using multi-targeted siRNAs with nanoparticle-enhanced delivery," said the President and CEO of the company, Dr. Patrick Y. Lu, also the Principal Investigator of the grant from NCI. "The collaboration among scientists and clinicians from Sirnaomics and Duke University provides the solid foundation for the success of such a novel therapeutic approach," Dr. Lu further emphasized. "Continuous government funding is critical for the growth of a therapeutic product company like Sirnaomics, especially in the current financial environment."
"An siRNA therapeutic is uniquely positioned to combat emerging viral infections such as influenza H5N1 and H1N1 since a single siRNA sequence can be designed with exquisite selectivity against each viral gene segment. siRNAs can be rapidly synthesized at large scale and are easily administered through inhalation (or systemically). Sirnaomics patented approach to target multiple viral gene segments has further benefit in preventing viral escape from therapeutic pressure. Consequently, siRNA therapies may provide a better therapeutic option in fighting an influenza pandemic," said the Vice President for Discovery Research of the company, Dr. David Evans, who is also the Principal Investigator of another grant from NIAID. "Using a multi-targeted siRNA cocktail to target various conserved regions across multiple influenza virus strains, we aim to develop a resistance-proof therapeutic approach for fighting constantly mutating influenza viruses," Dr. Evans indicated.
Sirnaomics, Inc. is a privately held Delaware corporation headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. Established in 2007 by a group of leading scientists in the field of RNAi technology, the company is pursuing the mission of advancing RNAi technology with novel targeted therapeutics development. In 2008, the company established its subsidiary in Suzhou, China to expand its R&D capacity and potential market. Members of the senior management team bring over 60 years of combined experience in the biopharmaceutical, financial and business management industries. Supported with funding from founders, angel investors, government grants and China-Singapore VC, Sirnaomics has developed a strong portfolio of intellectual property with an enriched product pipeline. The therapeutic areas of interest include scarless wound healing, pandemic flu (H5N1/H1N1), oncology, ocular diseases, spinal cord injury and transplantation.
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