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Aktiv-Dry Awarded Research Grant to Explore Inhalable siRNA Dry Powder Targeting RSV
Date:11/12/2007

BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Aktiv-Dry LLC has been awarded an SBIR research grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to explore the formulation of certain siRNA products as inhalable dry powders that might eventually be used to treat pulmonary disorders such as RSV. Brian Quinn, Ph.D., from Aktiv-Dry, is the principal investigator.

As an intervention strategy for viral infection, new approaches for treating RSV include delivering to the respiratory system short interfering ribonucleic acid oligonucleotides (siRNAs), the molecules that induce RNA interference. Quinn will use Aktiv-Dry's proprietary supercritical carbon dioxide process, CAN-BD, to formulate an oligonucleotide as a powder consisting of micro-scale particles capable of deposition in the lungs.

"The best way to treat an illness is to get the medicine to the principal site of infection, which in the case of RSV is in the lungs," said Quinn, president of Aktiv-Dry. "This proof-of-concept project will attempt to reformulate a siRNA product as a stable, dry powder consisting of particles 1 to 5 microns in diameter. When manufactured under pharmaceutical conditions, infants and children could inhale such particles into their respiratory tracts through the aid of an active dry powder inhaler."

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects essentially all children within the first two years of life and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and children under one year of age. It is also a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Each year, RSV infections lead to more than 100,000 hospitalizations and about 2,500 deaths. Current treatment for RSV generally consists of only treating its symptoms, which include fever, runny nose, cough, and sometimes wheezing. No effective drug for treating the RSV infection itself is widely available, nor is there an approved vaccine to prevent RSV.

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