SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Dec. 19, 2014 — SomaGenics and collaborators have published exciting results on the efficacy of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics against the hepatitis C virus (HCV) based on the company's sshRNA™ platform. Using a chimeric mouse model with humanized liver that supports infection by HCV, SomaGenics scientists and their collaborators from Roche and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals demonstrated efficient sshRNA delivery to the liver, potent and long-lasting reduction in viral load, and strong evidence for a direct anti-viral effect by the sshRNAs. The studies were published in Molecular Therapy-Nucleic acids, in Gastroenterology, and in the Journal of Virology.
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Dec. 18, 2014 – SomaGenics has recently been awarded $2,275,000 in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the NIH to further develop and expand its RNA-based technologies in the areas of wound healing, hepatitis delta virus (HDV) therapeutics, microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling, and next-generation sequencing.
SomaGenics' wound healing program is focused on treatment of chronic wounds of diabetics. These wounds, frequently occurring on the feet, are the major reason for amputations in the diabetic population and represent a large unmet medical need. SomaGenics' new NIH funds, in the form of a Phase II SBIR grant, will further the development of the company's combination of therapeutic RNAs, which are designed to restore the normal wound healing process in chronic diabetic wounds.
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Dec. 16, 2014 – SomaGenics, Inc. has had four patents covering various aspects of its small RNA platform technologies issued or allowed by the US and European Patent Offices.
Two of these patents cover short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA): US Patent No. 8,779,115 B2 covers methods, compositions and kits used in the inhibition of gene expression, and the second patent, US Patent No. 8,871,730 B2, covers chemical modifications of small RNAs. These modifications improve SomaGenics' proprietary RNAs by increasing their stability in serum and by eliminating unwanted immunostimulatory activity, which can result in side effects. These RNAs, which are called sshRNA™, have promising therapeutic applications and function through the RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism. RNAi is a natural endogenous pathway whereby small RNAs recognize target RNAs, triggering their inhibition and often degradation. SomaGenics has used its sshRNA technology to demonstrate potent inhibition of the hepatitis C virus, among other applications.