Three Somagenics Publications Demonstrate Successful Inhibition of the Hepatitis C Virus by Therapeutic sshRNA™ and Confirm Mechanism of Action

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Dec. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SomaGenics and collaborators have published exciting results on the efficacy of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics against the hepatitis C virus (HCV) based on the company's sshRNA™ platform.  Using a chimeric mouse model with humanized liver that supports infection by HCV, SomaGenics scientists and their collaborators from Roche and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals demonstrated efficient sshRNA delivery to the liver, potent and long-lasting reduction in viral load, and strong evidence for a direct anti-viral effect by the sshRNAs.  The studies were published in Molecular Therapy-Nucleic acids, in Gastroenterology, and in the Journal of Virology.

Key findings of these papers include:
"The demonstration of a strong antiviral effect in the chimeric humanized-liver mouse model further reinforces our confidence in the therapeutic potential of our sshRNA platform," said Dr. Brian Johnston, CEO of SomaGenics. "We are quite excited about the performance of SomaGenics' synthetic sshRNAs formulated with Tekmira's LNP, which demonstrated reduction of circulating HCV load by more than two orders of magnitude and suggests that biweekly or monthly dosing could be effective. The results affirm the advantages of our approach of combining multiple sshRNAs targeting otherwise 'undruggable' viral targets.  We are extending this platform to developing treatments for hepatitis delta, a serious form viral hepatitis for there are currently no specific treatments."

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