Tekmira Pharmaceuticals said this week that it and collaborators at the University of Texas Medical Branch have received a $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop RNAi therapeutics against Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever viral infections.
According to the company, the grant will support the use of its lipid nanoparticle delivery technology to develop the therapeutics.
Tekmira recently named an RNAi-based Ebola treatment, dubbed TKM-EBOLA, as its third clinical candidate (GSN 8/19/2010).
"The NIH grant is consistent with our strategy of leveraging external funding to advance our [lipid nanoparticle] technology and product candidates in certain infectious diseases, including Ebola and Marburg," Tekmira President and CEO Mark Murray said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Tekmira published data showing that siRNAs, delivered using the company's stable nucleic acid lipid particles, could completely protect rhesus macaques from a lethal dose of Ebola (GSN 6/3/2010).
Also this year, the company received a contract worth up to $140 million from the US Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program to develop TKM-EBOLA.