Technology ID

Co-Transcriptional Assembly of Modified RNA Nanoparticles

Lead Inventor
Shapiro, Bruce (NCI)
Afonin, Kirill (NCI)
Kireeva, Maria (NCI)
Kashlev, Mikhail (NCI)
Grabow, Wade (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Jaeger, Luc (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Therapeutic Areas
Development Stages
Lead IC

The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in collaborative research to co-develop a method to generate RNA molecules suitable for nanoparticle and biomedical applications.

The development of nanoparticles as a method of drug delivery is paving the way for precise targeted therapy making it a more attractive and effective method for treating cancer. However, the current methods of designing RNA nanoparticles are limited by three factors: 1) the cost and size limitations associated with chemical synthesis of RNA; 2) the complexity of RNA nanoparticle production; and 3) low retention time of RNA nanoparticles in the patient bloodstream due to their susceptibility to nuclease degradation. 

NCI scientists have developed a method to overcome these challenges in RNA nanoparticle design. The method entails generating RNA nanoparticles having modified nucleotides and/or having increased nuclease resistance where the RNA nanoparticles are formed co-transcriptionally by T7 RNA polymerase in the presence of manganese ions. In essence, the technology results in high-yield production of chemically modified RNA nanoparticles functionalized with siRNAs that are resistant to nucleases from human blood serum

Competitive Advantages:

  • Reduces the cost and size limitations of solid-phase RNA synthesis.
  • Simplifies production of complex RNA nanoparticles.
  • Increases retention time of RNA nanoparticles.

Commercial Applications:

  • Inexpensive and efficient method of producing chemically modified RNA nanoparticles for diagnostic or therapeutic applications.
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