RXi Pharmaceuticals last month won a six-month grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences worth $273,824 to make improvements to its self-delivering RNAi technology.
With the funding, RXi plans to develop a panel of second-generation self-delivering RNAi molecules, called sd-rxRNAs, with “improved potency and pharmacology by incorporating modified nucleotide bases with lipophilic moieties,” according to the grant's abstract.
“A panel of lipophilically modified nucleotide phosphoramidites using position 5 of a uracil will be synthesized for initial screening,” the abstract notes. “These lipophilic monomers will be incorporated into an array of RNAi compounds that will be tested for enhanced potency in biological systems. Completion of this project is expected to develop a next generation of self-delivering rxRNA compounds with at least an order of magnitude better potency and improved pharmacology that can be used to develop RNAi drug candidates in multiple therapeutic areas.”