RNA interference or RNAi therapies have been imagined decades ago. However, they will only arrive on the market in 2018. Why are RNAi therapies exciting and why the wait was so long?

Virus have long exploited the expression machinery of cells to translate their genome into proteins. In response, defence mechanisms arise in different type of cells. In one of them, RNA interference, the infected cell produce a short RNA which target and destroy the foreign RNA. Cells have since used this mechanism to also regulate their own RNA level and thus protein level. This mechanism which was discovered 20 years ago can be hacked by scientists to target specific mRNA responsible for diseases.

By feeding cells specific short RNAs, scientists can virtually target any expressed gene. For example, silencing abnormal expressed genes in cancer cells is possible with RNAi. However, RNA are very hard to deliver to a cell but as the technology progress, RNAi therapies are getting closer to the market.

Everything you need to know about RNAi therapies is packed into this infographic:

My helpful RNAi infographic

References

Science Articles
  1. Bobbin M and Rossi J. (2016). RNA Interference (RNAi)-Based Therapeutics: Delivering on the Promise? Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol.
  2. Chakraborty C. et al. (2017). Therapeutic miRNA and siRNA: Moving from Bench to Clinic as Next Generation Medicine. Molecular Therapy: Nucleic Acids
  3. Dowdy S. (2017). Overcoming cellular barriers for RNA therapeutics. Nature Biotechnology
  4. Lam J. et al. (2015). siRNA Versus miRNA as Therapeutics for Gene Silencing. Molecular Therapy—Nucleic Acids Vol {:target=”_blank”}
Web
  1. Labiotech.eu, “RNA as a Therapy: Reviewing the Future Generation of Therapeutics”
  2. Labiotech.eu, “Ultimate Review: How Could mRNA Overtake all other Biologicals in Medicine?”
  3. Alynam - “Our pipeline”
Clinical trial listed