Abstract 583: RNAi Therapeutics For The Lowering Of Cholesterol
Delivery of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in vivo, using clinically relevant modes of administration, is critical for the advancement of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. In this work, we demonstrate systemic delivery of siRNAs and potent in vivo down-modulation of two important disease targets, apolipoprotein B (apoB) and proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9). A single injection of liposomal siRNA resulted in >90% silencing of apoB mRNA expression in the liver 48 h after administration. The effect was demonstrated to occur through cleavage of the apoB mRNA at precisely the site predicted for the RNAi mechanism. Reductions in apoB protein, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDLc) levels were observed in 48 hours that lasted for at least 23 days, thus demonstrating an immediate, potent and durable biological effect. In addition to apoB we have also demonstrated the ability to down-modulate other important liver targets such as PCSK9. PCSK9 has been closely implicated in LDLc regulation. We have demonstrated PCSK9 down-modulation in several animal models including, mouse, humanized mouse, rat, and non-human primate. Down-modulation of PCSK9 levels resulted in significant lowering of cholesterol (20 – 60%) in all animal models tested. These findings strongly support the potential of RNAi therapeutics as a new class of drug for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Our next steps include selecting the most potent lead molecule and moving it into GLP safety studies.