News Column

New Small Interference RNAs (siRNAs) Study Findings Have Been Reported by Researchers at Newcastle University

February 13, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Gene Therapy Weekly -- Investigators discuss new findings in Small Interference RNAs (siRNAs). According to news reporting out of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "Short interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs) offer a highly specific and selective form of therapy for diseases with a genetic component; however the poor pharmacokinetic properties of the molecule have impeded its development into a therapeutic for use in vivo. Several different approaches have been taken to develop a successful siRNA delivery system but these systems lack the flexibility for easy optimisation."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Newcastle University, "Here, we propose a polymeric nanoparticle (PNP) system consisting of two amphiphilic diblock copolymers which allow for the rapid determination of structure-activity relationships involving gene knockdown and toxicity. The diblock copolymers self-assemble into monodisperse micelles of defined hydrodynamic diameters ranging from 30 to 100 nm dependent on the copolymer ratio. A luciferase-based high throughput assay varying PNP composition, concentration and siRNA concentration allowed the rapid identification of efficient PNP formulations for adherent and suspension cell lines. Optimised PNPs efficiently knocked down a fusion oncogene in hard to transfect human leukaemic cells raising the possibility of targeting malignant cells in a cancer-specific fashion."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "This approach allows the optimum PNP formulation to be identified for different cell types and conditions."

For more information on this research see: Determination of key structure-activity relationships in siRNA delivery with a mixed micelle system. Journal of Controlled Release, 2013;172(3):939-45. (Elsevier -; Journal of Controlled Release -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting M. Omedes Pujol, Chemical Nanoscience Laboratory, School of Chemistry, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Additional authors for this research include D.J. Coleman, C.D. Allen, O. Heidenreich and D.A Fulton (see also Small Interference RNAs (siRNAs)).

Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Genetics, Therapeutics, United Kingdom, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Small Interference RNAs (siRNAs).

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Source: Gene Therapy Weekly

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