By Doug Macron
Bioo Scientific last week announced that it has established a new division that will apply the company’s drug-delivery technologies, as well as its antibody and small-molecule know-how, toward the development of treatments for cancer and other diseases.
While the company’s primary interests are its food and feed safety products, and its life science research and services offerings, “there are several technologies that cross the therapeutics boundary,” particularly in regards to RNAi delivery, Lance Ford, Bioo Scientific’s vice president of research and business development, told RNAi News this week.
For example, the company has developed a targeted siRNA delivery approach — dubbed Targeted Transport Technology — that involves joining a carrier agent to a monoclonal antibody to produce a conjugate, which is then loaded with an RNAi molecule such as an siRNA or miRNA mimic.
“The RNAi agent-loaded conjugate is administered to an animal where it binds to and is internalized by cells recognized by the monoclonal antibody,” according to Bioo Scientific. “The RNAi agent is then released to reduce the expression of its intended target.”
While this technology was developed for in vivo research purposes, the company saw its potential for the delivery of small RNA-based therapeutics, according to Ford. At the same time, Bioo Scientific has initiated a handful of programs “to identify drugs that can lead to the destruction of cancer cells,” as well as antiviral agents, he said.
None of the company’s drug-development efforts involve RNAi, and when it comes to small RNA medicines, “our primarily interest … is delivery,” he said. Our internal efforts for therapeutic modalities are focused around non-nucleic acid-based” technologies.
Although the new division, called Bioo Therapeutics, is maintained separately from the parent firm for accounting purposes, it operates within Bioo Scientific, sharing staffers and research space, as the company generates data it hopes will lead to industry deals, Ford noted.
“Our hope is to partner with a pharmaceutical company, especially on drug-delivery for small RNA molecules, particularly with a pharmaceutical company that is already working on small RNA-based therapeutics,” he said, adding that the company has received “a lot of interest from a variety of different companies.”
He declined to identify the companies, but Bioo Scientific recently announced that it had presented a seminar on its Targeted Transport Technology at the 2009 Pfizer RNAi Forum.