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Tekmira, Collaborators Demonstrate HCV Knockdown In Vivo with RNAi

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Tekmira Pharmaceuticals this week announced that, along with collaborators at SomaGenics and Roche, it has shown in vivo efficacy of an RNAi molecule against hepatitis C virus.

“In this work, short hairpin RNAs that target a conserved region of the HCV genome were delivered systemically using Tekmira's lipid nanoparticle technology, resulting in a significant and durable reduction in viral load in HCV-infected animals," Tekmira President and CEO Mark Murray said in a statement.

Specifically, shRNAs were taken up by liver cells in a chimeric mouse model, Tekmira said. Additionally, a single intravenous dose of the agent was sufficient to trigger “significant HCV reduction.”

The biggest effect was achieved with a cocktail of two shRNAs targeting two different sites on the HCV genome, with additional “potent and durable” inhibition after a second dose, the company added.

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