Co-Transcriptional Assembly of Modified RNA Nanoparticles

The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in collaborative research to co-develop a method to generate RNA molecules suitable for nanoparticle and biomedical applications.

The development of nanoparticles as a method of drug delivery is paving the way for precise targeted therapy making it a more attractive and effective method for treating cancer. However, the current methods of designing RNA nanoparticles are limited by three factors: 1) the cost and size limitations associated with chemical synthesis of RNA; 2) the complexity of RNA nanoparticle production; and 3) low retention time of RNA nanoparticles in the patient bloodstream due to their susceptibility to nuclease degradation. 

NCI scientists have developed a method to overcome these challenges in RNA nanoparticle design. The method entails generating RNA nanoparticles having modified nucleotides and/or having increased nuclease resistance where the RNA nanoparticles are formed co-transcriptionally by T7 RNA polymerase in the presence of manganese ions. In essence, the technology results in high-yield production of chemically modified RNA nanoparticles functionalized with siRNAs that are resistant to nucleases from human blood serum

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Inexpensive and efficient method of producing chemically modified RNA nanoparticles for diagnostic or therapeutic applications.
  • Reduces the cost and size limitations of solid-phase RNA synthesis.
  • Simplifies production of complex RNA nanoparticles.
  • Increases retention time of RNA nanoparticles.

Development Stage:
Discovery (Lead Identification)

Related Invention(s):


Bruce Shapiro (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Kirill Alfonin ()  ➽ more inventions...

Maria Kireeva ()  ➽ more inventions...

Mikhail Kashlev ()  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing only

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-223-2012
Updated: Jun 7, 2018