- Altamira's peptide-based SemaPhore™ nanoparticle technology confers great stability to mRNA, is non-immunogenic and non-toxic, enabling delivery to extrahepatic targets and efficient endosomal release
- Continued momentum in mRNA vaccines and therapeutics with over 840 programs under development, according to fresh data from Beacon RNA database by Hanson Wade
- Limitations of hitherto dominant lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technologies call for alternate mRNA delivery solutions
HAMILTON, BERMUDA / ACCESSWIRE / April 11, 2023 / Altamira Therapeutics ("Altamira" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:CYTO), a company dedicated to developing RNA-based therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs, positions its peptide-based SemaPhore™ nanoparticle technology as a versatile and efficient alternative to the hitherto dominant lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technologies in the fast growing field of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) applications.
According to fresh data from the Beacon RNA database by Hanson Wade, the number of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics under development has now grown to more than 840, of which 356 are using some sort of LNP for delivery. While LNPs have been effectively and widely used especially for delivery of mRNA vaccines, they have certain limitations which prevent or restrict their use in various promising areas of therapeutic mRNA application. These limitations include predominant uptake by the liver following systemic administration, limited stability (requiring storage at ultralow temperatures), LNP-related toxicity and immunogenicity as well as poor endosomal release within cells (reported at only 1-2% of the payload).,
Based on SemaPhore's unique features, Altamira sees strong promise for its application in the field of mRNA delivery. SemaPhore nanoparticles are characterized by a favorable tolerability profile while solving some of the inherent issues observed with LNPs: namely, delivering their cargo extra-hepatically, and efficiently promoting cellular uptake as well as endosomal release. In addition, SemaPhore is able to protect its RNA cargo from degradation without triggering an immune response (non-immunogenic). This latter feature is essential for those therapeutic indications where repeated administrations are required.
"We are excited about the increasing recognition of SemaPhore's differentiating features, as we are seeing growing interest by pharma and biotech companies in our technology," commented Covadonga Pañeda, Ph.D., Altamira's Chief Operating Officer. "SemaPhore's effective cellular uptake and transfection capacity, which was recently confirmed by an independent comparison of several mRNA delivery technologies in cancer cells, as well as the ability to reach extrahepatic targets and achieve high release rates for the RNA payload, resonate well given the limitations of LNPs. We are keen on seeing SemaPhore adopted for the development of promising novel mRNA therapeutics in collaboration with biotech and pharma partners."
SemaPhore is a versatile platform for safe and effective delivery of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) into target cells. It is based on a patented 21-amino acid peptide that can engage any type of RNA in rapid self-assembly into a polyplex. The polyplex has a size, charge, and other physical features that allow it to escape hepatic clearance and thus to reach other target tissues than the liver. SemaPhore protects the RNA payload from degradation in the circulation and allows for rapid cellular uptake, while enabling pH-dependent nucleotide endosomal escape and cytoplasmic delivery. Effective delivery of mRNA and positive treatment outcomes have been demonstrated in various murine models of disease, including osteoarthritis (WNT16 and DNMT3B), atherosclerosis (p27Kip1), aortic aneurysm (SOD2), and cancer (ZBTB46).
About Altamira Therapeutics
Altamira Therapeutics (Nasdaq:CYTO) is dedicated to developing RNA-based therapeutics for extrahepatic targets (OligoPhore™ / SemaPhore™ delivery platforms). The Company currently has two flagship siRNA programs in preclinical development beyond in vivo proof of concept: AM-401 for KRAS driven cancer and AM-411 for rheumatoid arthritis. The versatile delivery platform is also suited for mRNA and other types of RNA therapeutics and shall be leveraged via out-licensing to pharma or biotech companies. In addition, Altamira is in the process of divesting and/or licensing-out its legacy assets in allergology and viral infection (Bentrio® OTC nasal spray; commercial) and inner ear therapeutics (AM-125 nasal spray for vertigo; post Phase 2; Keyzilen® and Sonsuvi® for tinnitus and hearing loss; Phase 3). Founded in 2003, Altamira is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, with its main operations in Basel, Switzerland. For more information, visit: https://altamiratherapeutics.com/
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 See e.g. Kim et al. (2022), The potential of cell-penetrating peptides for mRNA delivery to cancer cells, Pharmaceutics 14:1271, https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14061271; Hou et al. (2021), Lipid nanoparticles for mRNA delivery, Nat Rev Mat 6:1078, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-021-00358-0
 Gilleron et al. (2013), Image-based analysis of lipid nanoparticle-mediated siRNA delivery, intracellular trafficking and endosomal escape, Nat Biotechnol 31(7):638-46.
SOURCE: Altamira Therapeutics
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