LEIDEN, The Netherlands, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Three new small and medium sized
enterprises (SMEs) - Syncom, Synvolux Therapeutics and InteRNA Technologies -
have joined public-private partnership TI Pharma by participating in two new
projects. These projects, focusing on cancer and inflammatory diseases, have a
total budget of nearly 6 million euros.

The new consortium, formed by Syncom, Synvolux Therapeutics, and University
Medical Center Groningen, focuses on designing a versatile drug delivery system
for inflammatory diseases and cancer. Another new consortium is formed by
InteRNA Technologies, Utrecht University and VU University Medical Center, and
focuses on the development of anti-angiogenic microRNA-based therapeutic
products for the treatment of cancer.

Versatile drug delivery platform for inflammatory diseases and cancer

New molecular entities (NMEs) in the drug development pipeline comprise various
classes of kinase inhibitors that cause unacceptable toxicity in humans. Proper
formulation might circumvent side effects and improve their general therapeutic
efficacy. However, currently, no appropriate formulation technology is available
for these kinase inhibitors.

This project focuses on a systematic approach in which chemical modification of
NMEs is combined with drug formulation studies. This will lead to a versatile
drug delivery platform for future clinical application of kinase inhibitors in
the treatment of cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. This approach is
expected to make targeted drug delivery finally meet its expectations, as it
will become available for a variety of drug classes that are under development
in the pharmaceutical industry, according to the consortium members.

Development of novel anti-angiogenic miRNA based therapeutics

Conventional cancer treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy and
chemotherapy are far from sufficient, therefore, new strategies of cancer
treatment are needed more than ever, says Roel Schaapveld, Chief Executive
Officer, InteRNA. There is a large body of evidence indicating that tumor growth
and metastasis formation are dependent on the formation of new blood vessels.
Furthermore, angiogenesis is an early event in the development of tumors, being
already switched on in pre-cancerous events and long before visible or
clinically relevant tumor mass is present. Schaapveld: These two features make
angiogenesis an ideal target for the development of novel anti-cancer

The recent discovery that non-coding RNAs, called microRNAs (miRNAs), play a
critical role in gene regulation provides new opportunities to discover RNAs
that can control angiogenesis. The major aim of this project is to establish a
technology platform for the development of (anti-cancer) therapeutics based on
angiostatic miRNAs. miRNA is utilized as a therapeutic modality and advanced
nanoparticle delivery systems accomplish intracellular delivery of nucleic acid
agents. These will be combined with the identification of surface receptor
targets on tumor blood vessels to allow for therapeutic intervention.
Eventually, this will result in the development of anti-angiogenic miRNA-based
therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer.


For information, please contact TI Pharma: Ingeborg van der Heijden,