Nanoparticle delivery system used to defeat ebola virus

A cutting-edge study relying on Tekmira's lipid nanoparticle technology to deliver three targeted small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) capable of inactivating the lethal Ebola virus at three different parts of its life cycle was highly effective in protecting monkeys from a deadly dose of the tropical disease.

The delivery technology transported the gene-silencing siRNAs directly to the cells which are known to replicate the virus. Infectious disease researchers from Boston University and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases say that all of the rhesus monkeys in the study not only survived the disease but were cleared of any sign of the infection after 14 days.

"The delivery system is the real key," Thomas Geisbert of Boston University School of Medicine, told Reuters. Their work was published in The Lancet.

"Over the past decade, we have evaluated numerous therapeutic approaches for the treatment of lethal viruses, such as Ebola," says Dr. Lisa E. Hensley, Chief Viral Therapeutics, Virology Division, USAMRIID and one of Tekmira's collaborators. "With the exception of siRNA delivered using Tekmira's SNALP technology, none of them have conferred complete protection to Ebola virus infected nonhuman primates. We look forward to continuing our work with Tekmira as they advance this promising therapeutic approach."

- check out Tekmira's release
- here's the Reuters story