NEW YORK, July 8 - Qiagen and Intradigm will collaborate in siRNA drug discovery research & development projects, the companies said today.
Under the agreement, Qiagen will manufacture the siRNA (short interfering RNA), which it will provide to Intradigm for research in oncology, arthritis, and SARS.
For the SARS coronavirus project, Intradigm will design at least 48 sets of siRNA oligos for delivery through the airways, as a potential treatment for the pulmonary infection caused by the virus. The company said it will conduct this project with collaborators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as ones in Hong Kong and Guangzhou,China
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.
Qiagen, of Venlo, the Netherlands, manufactures siRNA for gene silencing using its TOM-Amidite chemistry. The company is one of four companies licensed to supply siRNA under a group of patent applications held by MIT, the Whitehead Institute, the Max Planck Institute, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Intradigm, of Rockville, Md., has developed methods of delivering siRNA in animals, and has conducted studies to validate particular siRNA agents for cancer and viral infection.
SiRNA consists of a short double-stranded sequence of RNA that is delivered into a cell, which triggers the destruction of the mRNA from a target gene.