Strong Immune Response To New siRNA Drugs In Development May Cause Toxic Side Effects, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation Study

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EurekAlert! -- New Rochelle, NY, May 20, 2009—Small synthetic fragments of genetic material called small interfering RNA (siRNA) can block production of abnormal proteins; however, these exciting new drug candidates can also induce a strong immune response, causing toxic side effects. Understanding how siRNA stimulates this undesirable immune activity, how to test for it, and how to design siRNA drugs to avoid it are critical topics explored in a timely review article published online ahead of print in Oligonucleotides, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. ( The article is available free online at

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