Bioo Scientific, an Austin, TX based biotechnology company, announced today that it has been awarded a $500,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation for the development of a targeted in vivo RNA Interference (RNAi) delivery technology. RNAi is an invaluable technique to characterize gene function and is being evaluated for the treatment of numerous human diseases. According to Lance Ford, Bioo Scientific’s VP of Research and Business Development, “While technologies are widely available for RNAi agent delivery into cells grown on plastic dishes in specially designed incubators, to fully understand gene functions and cellular pathways, in vitro results must be validated in animals. Currently, there are no commercial technologies for the targeted, in vivo delivery of RNAi agents and Bioo Scientific intends to fill this gap”. This grant will enable Bioo Scientific to develop kits and reagents based on the patent-pending Targeted Transport Technology (T3).
T3 involves conjugating an RNAi agent carrier to a monoclonal antibody (mAb) to produce a conjugate, which is then loaded with an RNAi agent such as siRNA and miRNA molecules. The RNAi agent loaded conjugate is administered to an animal where it binds to and is internalized by cells recognized by the mAb. The RNAi agent is then released to reduce the expression of its intended target. T3 will propel the validation of animal experimentation, leading to a better understanding of cellular pathways, the identification of novel drug targets, and the ability to more efficiently deliver RNAi agents as drugs.