A modular platform for targeted RNAi therapeutics

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Previous studies have identified relevant genes and signalling pathways that are hampered in human disorders as potential candidates for therapeutics. Developing nucleic acid-based tools to manipulate gene expression, such as short interfering RNAs1,2,3 (siRNAs), opens up opportunities for personalized medicine. Yet, although major progress has been made in developing siRNA targeted delivery carriers, mainly by utilizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for targeting4,5,6,7,8, their clinical translation has not occurred. This is in part because of the massive development and production requirements and the high batch-to-batch variability of current technologies, which rely on chemical conjugation. Here we present a self-assembled modular platform that enables the construction of a theoretically unlimited repertoire of siRNA targeted carriers. The self-assembly of the platform is based on a membrane-anchored lipoprotein that is incorporated into siRNA-loaded lipid nanoparticles that interact with the antibody crystallizable fragment (Fc) domain. We show that a simple switch of eight different mAbs redirects the specific uptake of siRNAs by diverse leukocyte subsets in vivo. The therapeutic potential of the platform is demonstrated in an inflammatory bowel disease model by targeting colon macrophages to reduce inflammatory symptoms, and in a Mantle Cell Lymphoma xenograft model by targeting cancer cells to induce cell death and improve survival. This modular delivery platform represents a milestone in the development of precision medicine.

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Fig. 1: ASSET platform design and construction.
Fig. 2: TsiLNP functionality in vitro and in vivo.
Fig. 3: In vivo targeting of TsiLNPs.
Fig. 4: TsiLNP-mediated therapeutic gene silencing in a murine colitis model.


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This work was supported in part by grants from the Dotan Hemato-oncology Center at Tel Aviv University, by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Nanotechnology Research Fund, by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and by the ERC grant LeukoTheranostics (number 647410) awarded to D.P.

Author information

R.K., N.V. and D.P. conceived and designed the project. R.K., N.V. S.R., M.G., D.R. N.D., L.N., I.H.-H., S.L.-B.-A. and M.H. performed the experimental work. R.K., N.V., M.B., I.B. J.L. and D.P. analysed the data. R.K. N.V. and D.P. wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the results.

Correspondence to Dan Peer.

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Competing interests

M.B. is an employee of Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. J.L. is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. D.P. declares financial interests in Quiet Therapeutics. The rest of the authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Kedmi, R., Veiga, N., Ramishetti, S. et al. A modular platform for targeted RNAi therapeutics. Nature Nanotech 13, 214–219 (2018) doi:10.1038/s41565-017-0043-5

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