The acquisition of Smarticles for $5m (€3.8m) in unregistered common stock expands the range of siRNA drug delivery methods Marina has for systemic and local delivery of its UsiRNA therapeutics. Its portfolio also includes DiLA2, tkRNAi and a peptide nanoparticle platform.
“We plan to take full advantage of our new IP position by expanding our existing delivery capability to develop additional novel formulations for safe and effective systemic and local delivery of RNAi-based therapeutics”, said Michael French, president and CEO of Marina.
Smarticles enable the delivery of active substances into a cell through either systemic or topical administration. The surface charge is fully reversible which makes the liposomes particularly suited to the delivery of encapsulated nucleic acids.
Liposomes can be delivered via injection, remain stable and aggregate-free through the bloodstream, and cross cell membranes to deliver the oligonucleotides to the target. Once inside the cell the payload can engage the RNA interference pathway to achieve a therapeutic effect.
Smarticles can differ chemically, while retaining the same fundamental biophysical traits, and this, coupled to optimised size and lipid dosing, allows for targeting of specific sites.
By screening close to 1,000 different Smarticles Novosom has identified variants that are stable, effective and can target the liver, inflamed sites or tumours.
Preclinical tests suggest that Smarticles are safe and well tolerated. Novosom has applied the technology to the delivery of antisense, siRNA, LNA and other oligonucleotides.
The patent estate acquired by Marina is a quality portfolio covering 42 issued patents and 31 patent pending applications. These patents cover liposomal delivery formulations, lipid compounds and nucleic acid chemistry.