December 01, 2017
Woburn, Mass. – December 01, 2017 − Aphios Corporation today announced that it is developing a platform for the effective targeted delivery of siRNA-based Therapeutics with funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH). The nanotechnology platform is initially targeting a cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) using specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules.
Currently, about 35 million people have died from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and there are about 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. In the United States, an estimated 1.2 million people are currently living with HIV and more than 40,000 new infections occur each year. HIV infects several cell types during the course of infection and progression to AIDS. There is no vaccine against HIV and AIDS..
RNA-based vaccines and therapeutics have emerged as great promise for HIV prevention and treatment. However, many obstacles still need to be overcome, in particular RNA instability, manufacturing problems, and clinically relevant delivery mechanisms of RNA into target cells. Furthermore, RNA-based therapeutics have shown the potential to silence HIV effectively upon direct transfection in vitro, but delivery into cells in vivo is still unsatisfactory. Vector-based (lentivirus, adeno-associated virus) delivery to quiescent cells has proven inefficient, and the vectors themselves pose a risk to the host. Nucleic acids are relatively large, negatively charged polymers, and significant clinical challenges from the standpoint of delivery to cells still persist.
According to Dr. Trevor P. Castor, Principal Investigator on this research, “We are utilizing our critical fluid nanosomes (CFN) nanotechnology platform to formulate and deliver siRNA nanoparticles for silencing specific genes to block HIV entry. We have demonstrated, in collaboration with a top tier multinational pharmaceutical company, the ability of CFN to nanoencapsulate siRNA with high recovery and encapsulation efficiencies (US Patent Pending). This single step technology, based on purely physical methods, is organic-solvent free, efficient, scalable and environmental friendly.”
About Aphios Corporation
Aphios (www.aphios.com) is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing green enabling technology platforms to improve drug discovery, manufacturing, nanotechnology drug delivery and pathogenic safety. Based on these platforms, enhanced therapeutics to improve quality-of-life and treat chronic diseases such as prostate and pancreatic cancers, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and Central Nervous System disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Research reported in this press release is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health under Contract No.: HHSN272201700079C. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.