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CALAA-01 is the First and Only Anti-Cancer siRNA Drug Candidate Currently Undergoing Human Clinical Trials
Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Calando"), a majority-owned subsidiary of Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR), announced today the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 7,427,605, entitled, "Inhibitors of ribonucleotide reductase subunit 2 and uses thereof." The patent contains claims directed to inhibitory nucleic acid sequences targeting the Ribonucleotide Reductase Subunit 2 ("R2") gene, as well as pharmaceutical compositions and methods for inhibiting tumor growth utilizing the sequences. R2 is the gene targeted by Calando's lead siRNA-containing nanoparticle therapeutic, CALAA-01, which is currently in a Phase I clinical trial for patients with non-resectable or metastatic solid tumors. CALAA-01 is the only RNAi therapeutic for cancer to have reached the clinic.
"The issuance of this patent is an important milestone for Calando," said Dr. Jeremy Heidel, Ph.D., Calando's Chief Scientific Officer for Nucleic Acid Delivery. "It provides a significant addition to the strong patent portfolio that Calando maintains for its CALAA-01 product."
About Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Calando Pharmaceuticals Inc. (www.calandopharma.com), a majority-owned subsidiary of Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR), is a biopharmaceuticals company using proprietary technologies developed at Caltech to create targeted siRNA-based therapeutics and small molecule nanoparticle drug conjugates. Calando uses its innovative Cyclosert™ and RONDEL™ nanoparticle systems to solve the long-standing obstacle of effective delivery and targeting for oligonucleotide and small molecule therapeutics.
Calando’s Cyclosert™ technology uses cyclodextrins as building blocks to create an entirely new class of biocompatible materials - linear cyclodextrin-containing polymers that are non-toxic and non-immunogenic at therapeutic doses. The Company leverages Cyclosert™ to design, develop and commercialize drug-delivery-enhanced small-molecule therapeutics. IT-101 is Calando’s lead small molecule Cyclosert conjugate, which recently completed a phase I study in solid tumors at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Calando’s RONDEL™ technology involves the use of cyclodextrin-containing polymers that form the foundation for its two-part siRNA delivery system. The first component is a linear, cyclodextrin-containing polycation that, when mixed with small interfering RNA (siRNA), binds to the anionic “backbone” of the siRNA. The polymer and siRNA self-assemble into nanoparticles smaller than 100 nm in diameter that fully protect the siRNA from nuclease degradation in serum. The siRNA delivery system has been designed to allow for intravenous injection. Upon delivery to the target cell, the targeting ligand binds to membrane receptors on the cell surface and the RNA-containing nanoparticle is taken into the cell by endocytosis. There, chemistry built into the polymer functions to unpackage the siRNA from the delivery vehicle. Based upon this breakthrough in siRNA delivery enabled by the RONDEL™ system, the promise of using siRNA in new systemic therapies may finally be realized.
This news release and any oral statements made with respect to the information contained in this news release, contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include statements which express plans, anticipation, intent, contingency, goals, targets, future development and are otherwise not statements of historical fact. These statements are based on Calando’s management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or developments to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or developments to differ materially include, among others: the risk that CALAA-01 or IT–101 may appear promising in early research and clinical trials but may not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in larger-scale or later stage clinical trials, the risks that the regulatory approvals may not be obtained, the risks associated with dependence upon key personnel, the risks associated with reliance on collaborative partners and others for further clinical trials, development, manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates; the cost, delays and uncertainties associated with our scientific research, product development, clinical trials and regulatory approval process; our history of operating losses since our inception; competition; litigation; and risks associated with our ability to protect our intellectual property. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, any of which could turn out to be wrong due to inaccurate assumptions, unknown risks or uncertainties or other risk factors.
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Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
James C. Hamilton, M.D.
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