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RXi Pharmaceuticals Granted US Notice of Allowance Covering Self-Delivering (sd-rxRNA) Technology Platform

28-May-2014 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 5218
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. - RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies addressing major unmet medical needs using RNA-targeted technologies, announced in a press release that it received the Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office on its novel, self-delivering RNAi platform (sd rxRNA®). The patent, titled "Reduced Size Self-Delivering RNAi Compounds", broadly covers both the composition and methods of use of RXi's self-delivering platform technology.  The patent, once issued, will be scheduled to expire in 2029.

This core patent, within RXi's intellectual property portfolio, is the foundation for RXI's self-delivering platform. The patent broadly protects RXi's sd rxRNA technology, which facilitates the delivery of RNAi compounds to tissues and cells of interest in the absence of a delivery vehicle. sd rxRNA oligonucleotides are designed for therapeutic use and have drug-like properties, such as high potency, target specificity, serum stability, reduced immune response activation, and efficient cellular uptake. This allows sd rxRNAs to achieve efficient cellular uptake and potent, long-lasting intracellular activity.  

"We are pleased to have our novel technology recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office," said Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals. He added that, "This key patent is what differentiates RXi's technology platform from the competition. It provides us with a powerful advantage to deliver our RNAi compounds without delivery vehicles, which are commonly used with the other siRNA compounds in clinical development. The use of our proprietary sd rxRNA technology platform may lead to improved tolerability and thereby potentially broadening of the therapeutic window for these compounds." 

RXi Pharmaceuticals' first clinical program involves RXI 109, an sd rxRNA compound, developed for the reduction of dermal scarring. RXI 109 is designed to reduce the expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a critical regulator of biological pathways involved in fibrosis, including scar formation in the skin. The first clinical trials with RXI 109 showed excellent safety and tolerability with ascending single and multiple doses, as well as dose dependent effects on the CTGF protein and on the mRNA that controls production of this protein.  

Late last year the Company started its first Phase 2a study (RXI-109-1301) in patients who had pre-existing hypertrophic scars present on their lower abdomen. In this study, patients undergo scar revision surgery, after which they are treated with RXI-109 on one end of the scar and placebo on the opposite end of the scar. Earlier this year, the Company announced the initiation of a second Phase 2a study (RXI-109-1401) for RXI-109 treatment to prevent recurrence of keloids in patients undergoing keloidectomy (removal of keloid). In this study, two keloids of similar size and location are selected for keloidectomy, and after removal, one site is treated with RXI-109 and one with placebo for a direct in-patient comparison.
 
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