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Traversa Inks Deal to Evaluate siRNA Delivery Technology with Sanofi-Aventis

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Traversa Therapeutics announced this week that it has signed a research agreement with Sanofi-Aventis for the development of the RNAi shop's delivery technology.

The technology, dubbed PTD-DRBD, comprises protein transduction domains linked with a double-stranded RNA binding domain.

According to Traversa, an siRNA coated with PTD-DRBD molecules binds to cell-surface proteoglycans, which stimulates macropinocytosis. The drug then enters the cell inside a macropinosome, at which point the pH inside the vesicle drops and the siRNA is released from the PTD-DRBD molecules into the cytoplasm.

Under the agreement, the companies will examine the ability of the PTD-DRBD technology to deliver siRNAs against undisclosed targets, with an eye toward developing RNAi therapeutics. Additional terms were not disclosed.

“This agreement will allow Sanofi-Aventis to select lead RNAi candidates and provide Traversa with a better understanding of the strengths of our RNAi delivery technology," Traversa President and CEO Hans Petersen said in a statement. "We are excited to be working with Sanofi-Aventis to conduct this research, and hope to advance the treatments selected during this collaboration into [investigational new drug application]-enabling studies and into the clinic.”