I’ve just come back from working at the Starbucks across my street which strongly reminded me that Christmas was just around the corner. Christmas this year in RNAi Therapeutics is synonymous with data releases by Alnylam from its transthyretin amyloidosis (ALN-TTR01; data presentation November 20-22 in
Some of the anticipation can already be felt in the form of appreciating share prices of Alnylam and Silence Therapeutics, together with Tekmira the companies most directly exposed to the current RNAi Therapeutics dataflow, and the financial analyst-investment community which have turned noticeably bullish on Alnylam. Only Tekmira, the inventor of SNALP technology that powers ALN-TTR01, ALN-PCS02 and 5 other candidates in or close to clinical development, has not participated in the rally by failing to find investors willing to defend its stock after taking on well-connected Alnylam.
In assessing the data, a primary focus will be on whether dose escalation was able to proceedeup to the highest planned doses (1.0mg/kg for ALN-TTR01 and 0.25mg/kg for ALN-PCS02) and whether, despite the small number of patients at the high dose levels, there are clear signs for target gene knockdown. 50% target gene knockdown in both cases would be reasonable goals, and probably also necessary ones to have the desired impact. In the case of ALN-PCS02 there should also be at least a 30% reduction in ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol, the intended pharmacologic outcome of a PCSK9-targeting agent. In terms of safety, the absence of grade 3 adverse events or worse would be highly welcome, of course, as we would be the absence of consistent and clinically meaningful innate immune activations.
Santaris’ anti-miR122 HCV Drug Continues to Impress
MicroRNA Therapeutics seems to have found its poster child already with Santaris’ miR122 LNA antagonist for the treatment of HCV. In an oral presentation at The Liver Meeting which is just wrapping up in