AstraZeneca and Aptamer test liver delivery vehicles with siRNA


Aptamer Group and AstraZeneca have entered a collaboration agreement to evaluate Aptamer’s Optimer fibrotic liver delivery vehicles for the targeted delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA).

Following the encouraging results achieved to-date with Aptamer’s fibrotic liver delivery vehicles, the next phase of the research will explore the potential of the non-viral delivery vehicle and its applicability with a tool siRNA.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will provide an siRNA to be trialled with Aptamer’s Optimer-based delivery vehicle for fibrotic liver cells.

Aptamer will conduct in-house experimental work to assess the effectiveness of this delivery vehicle with the siRNA. Upon success, Aptamer will progress to internally generating demonstrator data in animal models for evaluation by AstraZeneca.

Delivery of siRNA to precise cell types and tissues with successful cell internalisation remains a significant challenge for the wider therapeutic application of the technology. Despite this limitation, the siRNA market was still valued at over $13 billion in 2023.

If successful Optimer-enabled delivery of siRNA could lead to the development of novel compounds that have significant advantages over current cell and tissue-targeting methods.

Dr Arron Tolley, Chief Technical Officer of Aptamer Group, said: “We are really excited to work with AstraZeneca to evaluate and optimise our Optimer delivery vehicles. Targeted delivery to specific cell types remains a critical unmet need in many applications within the tissue targeting space and, as such, has been part of our strategic focus to support the development of binders with the potential for long-term, high value. Reaching proof of principle in animal models will derisk the Optimer delivery platform and bring us closer to delivering targeted and effective gene therapies for patients.”

Read the DDW interview with Dr Tolley.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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