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Marina Says UNA Technology Can Lower Off-Target Effects for siRNAs


Marina Biotech this week announced that the incorporation of a proprietary technology into an siRNA could reduce toxicity caused by microRNA-like off-target activity.

The approach is based on Marina's unlocked nucleobase analogs, which are comprised of acyclic ribonucleoside analogs in which the bond between C2' and C3' atoms is broken. The resultant change in sugar structure is designed to make the analogs flexible and reduce the binding affinity of siRNA strands.

The company said that including a single UNA moiety into the guide strand of an siRNA could significantly reduce miRNA-like cytotoxic effects compared to unmodified siRNAs.

“The ability to rescue a highly active siRNA by dramatically reducing its cytotoxic effects with a single UNA substitution emphasizes the advantages of the UNA technology,” Richard Ho, Marina's executive vice president of research and development, said in a statement.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.