Date of release: Thursday, October 31, 2013

University of Greenwich: Redefining the intracellular delivery of biologics

Patent Application GB1311057.2 (filed June 2013) is the first submission from a portfolio of IP describing innovative drug delivery strategies for moving large biologically active molecules (replacement genes, antisense agents, siRNA, aptamers and proteins, collectively referred to as biologics) into the cytosol of mammalian cells. This is important as it allows the direct modulation of cellular homeostasis tackling the cause of disease and cellular dysfunction at the molecular level as opposed to treating the symptoms of a disease. This innovation, (described in poster format) has been supported heavily by GUEL and GRE was well received at the 9th annual meeting of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society (OTS) held in Naples (6th- 8th October). In conjunction with a partner engaged to help commercialise this IP (Mark Eccleston, of Oncolytika), the poster (below) attracted attention of many major pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZenica (Az) and GalaxoSmithKline (GSK) as well as academic community.

At the OTS meeting, the inventors (from the School of Science: Simon Richardson (REF2014; UoA3), Paul Dyer (PhD student) and John Mitchell (REF2014; UoA8)) were keen to point out that the presentation of this data was timely as it coincided with the recently announced Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, awarded to, amongst others Professor Randy Schekman. Professor Schekman’s seminal work defining membrane trafficking in the bakers yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is connected to our technology through our use of membrane trafficking and recycling systems within the cell to access the target compartments necessary for effective delivery of biologics. This is a step change away from established DNA delivery technologies that push DNA through cell membranes, often causing toxicity and limiting the application of traditional “non-viral” biologic delivery systems in the clinic.

poster1 Richardson Mitchell
Dyer-P Eccleston1