Published Data Shows 100% Protection Against Multiple Strains of Marburg Virus in Animal Model Using RNAi Therapeutic Developed by Tekmira and Its Collaborators
ALN-TTR Results Enabled by Tekmira's LNP Technology as Highlighted in the New England Journal of Medicine Provide Robust Proof of Concept for RNAi Therapy in Man
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq:TKMR) (TSX:TKM), a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, announced the publication of two articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals – the Journal of Infectious Diseases and New England Journal of Medicine – that highlight results enabled by Tekmira's lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology.
"These recently published data further validate the broad applicability of Tekmira's industry-leading LNP technology platform. Our work with our collaborators at UTMB has resulted in the first report of complete post-exposure protection against the most pathogenic strain of Marburg virus. These findings build upon our work in infectious diseases – including our TKM-Ebola program, an anti-Ebola viral therapeutic currently in development under a $140 million contract awarded by the U.S. Government and entering a Phase I clinical trial early in 2014 – and provide a foundation for future infectious disease therapeutics," said Dr. Mark J. Murray, Tekmira's President and CEO.
"Tekmira's LNP technology is also enabling the rapid, dose-dependent, durable, and specific knockdown of TTR in clinical trials of Alnylam's ALN-TTR01 and ALN-TTR02 RNAi therapeutic products. Specifically, the ALN-TTR02 data points to our LNP delivery technology providing improved potency and demonstrating up to a 94% reduction of serum TTR with ALN-TTR02," added Dr. Murray.
The study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseasesresults from a collaboration between Tekmira and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). The paper, entitled "Protection against Lethal Marburg Virus Infection Mediated by Lipid Encapsulated siRNA" showed 100% protection in guinea pig models against the Angola, Ci67 and Ravn strains of the Marburg virus using a broad spectrum RNAi therapeutic enabled by Tekmira's LNP (Ursic-Bedoya et al., J Infect Dis.(2013) [Online early access]. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit465. First published online: August 29, 2013).
In 2010, Tekmira and UTMB were awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to support research to develop RNAi therapeutics to treat Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever viral infections. The grant is supporting ongoing work at Tekmira and at UTMB including work advancing these promising results into non-human primates.
Complete study results from Phase I trials with ALN-TTR01 and ALN-TTR02 were published in the New England Journal of Medicinein a paper entitled "Safety and Efficacy of RNAi Therapy for Transthyretin Amyloidosis" (Coelho et al., N Engl J Med 2013; 369:819-29). ALN-TTR01 and ALN-TTR02 are systemically delivered RNAi therapeutics that use Tekmira's LNP technology and target transthyretin (TTR), the disease-causing protein in TTR-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR). ALN-TTR01 and ALN-TTR02 are being developed by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALNY). More detailed information about the Phase I trials with ALN-TTR01 and ALN-TTR02 can be found in Alnylam's news release dated August 28, 2013, which has been posted at www.alnylam.com.