Scientists develop siRNA therapy for COVID-19June 9, 2021
Adi Idris et al have developed a new therapeutic approach using small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeted specifically to SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 infection. The siRNA molecules were designed to be delivered via a novel lipid nanoparticle delivery system devised by the researchers. The team identified three highly efficient candidate siRNAs that target the highly conserved regions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus where they bind and disrupt the genome of the virus. The selected siRNA candidates demonstrated an ability to inhibit the virus by greater than 90% either alone or in combination with one another. After encapsulation of siRNAs in the lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulation, it was delivered by in vivo injection into the lungs of infected mice models. The research showed robust repression of the virus in the lungs and pronounced survival advantage to the treated mice. The LNP-siRNA approach may be developed to treat humans, which could be used upon the first sign of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The therapeutic approach could also be used as an adjunctive therapy to current vaccine strategies.
Source: Molecular Therapy| May 13, 2021| DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2021.05.004