Jan 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 2)
RNAi Delivery Proves Vexing
Emerging Field Simultaneously Holds Both Promise and Problems
RNA interference (RNAi), an exciting yet evolving gene-silencing technology, holds great promise for drug discovery and as a novel therapeutic approach. But troubling doubts have recently emerged as to how quickly that promise will deliver. Perhaps ominously, in November, Roche terminated its multimillion-dollar RNAi therapeutics programs.
One of the main bottlenecks vexing the field is functional delivery. Select Biosciences recent “RNAi Asia” conference discussed the latest developments and innovations, such as development of specialized nanoparticles for delivery, improvements in high-throughput screening, and new in vivo studies.
Delivery problems could be overcome with the use of specialized nanoparticles that entrap small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), suggested Andrew D. Miller, Ph.D., professor at King’s College London. He has an optimistic point of view about RNAi therapeutics.
“RNAi should be the closest thing to a magic bullet for the biopharmaceutical industry,” he said. “In principle, one can get high-quality knockdown with very few side effects or off-target effects. The problem is that RNAi effectors need to be delivered to the target site in a potent form using the smallest possible amount of material. At present, doses are too high. That problem can only be solved with better delivery technologies and improved methodologies.”....
--- BioEngineering News
So tiny RXI is going to succeed where all the big boys have failed? Uh huh! Wanna buy a bridge!?