Tekmira secured an exclusive license from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. under its InterfeRx(TM) program to develop TKM-ALDH2. Tekmira has access to eight InterfeRx licenses at pre-negotiated financial terms, and has identified the first six targets, including ApoB, PLK1, Ebola, WEE1, CSN5 and ALDH2.
Some highlights from promising data generated by Tekmira include: • Data shows, both in vitro and in vivo, that ALDH2 is readily silenced by siRNA and that treatment of animals with TKM-ALDH2 can reduce liver ALDH2 protein to undetectable levels (< 2%). • Preclinical results of TKM-ALDH2 have been generated using a novel, proprietary LNP that has demonstrated better potency and greater therapeutic index than all previous LNP formulations. • In animals treated with TKM-ALDH2, increased blood acetaldehyde levels -- a key biomarker of aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibition -- were observed following the introduction of alcohol. • Data showed a greater than 40% reduction of ALDH2 mRNA levels at four weeks after a single dose, supporting the development of "once-a-month" treatment.
Alcohol dependence is a progressive disease distinguished from alcohol abuse by chronic use, tolerance, and physical addiction. Approximately 9.4 million people in the US have alcohol dependence, and approximately 76 million people worldwide are affected. It is estimated that there are 1.7 million patients annually in the United States who receive treatment in a specialty clinic for alcohol dependence.