VANCOUVER, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Acuitas Therapeutics Inc., a private biotechnology company developing state-of-the-art lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology for messenger RNA (mRNA), announced today publication of data demonstrating that mRNA encoding a broadly neutralizing antibody delivered in an Acuitas LNP carrier protects humanized mice from HIV-1 challenge. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, Acuitas' scientists and academic researchers lead by Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, a professor of Infectious Diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania showed that a single injection of mRNA-LNP encoding the anti-HIV-1 antibody VRC01 (1.4 mg/kg) resulted in plasma antibody concentrations of ~170 µg/mL at 24 hours. Further, weekly administrations of 1 mg/kg mRNA-LNP maintained trough antibody concentrations of ~40 µg/mL. Importantly a single injection of VRC01 mRNA-LNP protected humanized mice from an intravenous HIV-1 challenge in a dose-dependent manner.
"This latest publication with Dr. Weissman and his colleagues illustrates the potential for mRNA-LNP therapeutics to provide passive immunotherapy against HIV-1 and potentially against other infectious diseases. In addition it exemplifies the concept of using the liver as a "protein factory" and the viability of repeat dosing" said Thomas Madden, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Acuitas Therapeutics.
About messenger RNA (mRNA)
Messenger RNA is a natural molecule that allows cells to produce proteins. Information that codes for a specific protein is contained on genes in the cell nucleus. This information is transcribed into a message (mRNA), which then migrates out of the nucleus and is translated into the specific protein. Synthetic mRNA can be introduced into a cell using Acuitas LNP carriers to direct the cell to produce a therapeutic protein. Such therapeutic proteins could replace a missing or defective protein, be an antibody to protect against infection, or provide a protective immune response (i.e. a vaccine).
About Acuitas Therapeutics
Acuitas Therapeutics is a private biotechnology company located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada developing novel LNP carriers for mRNA and other nucleic acid therapeutics, including technology developed under limited license from Arbutus Biopharma Corporation.
SOURCE Acuitas Therapeutics Inc