RNA-therapeutics - Aptamers
Aptahem’s development portfolio comprises RNA-based aptamers, so-called synthetic (artificial) nucleic acid polymers. An aptamer consists either of single-stranded DNA or RNA (ssDNA or ssRNA). These molecules bult by RNA or DNA fragments, can bind more precise to selected targets, including proteins and peptides with high affinity and specificity. Due to these molecules are built bit by bit, targets not before being able to target now have a possibility to have a therapeutic solution.
Aptahem’s aptamers can be compared to small antibodies, and some aptamers are stereoselective. Aptamers show several substantial advantages over antibodies:
- As Aptahem’s aptamers are synthetic oligos and produced as such, ie no biologicals are included in the manufacturing – hence they can be reproduced cheaper, easier and with higher precision
- In general, they can be 6-10 times smaller which makes it easier for them to penetrate membranes and attack antigens that antibodies would sometimes miss
- Due to being synthetically produced, aptamers have lower immunogenicity, which could result in less side effects in patient
These advantages compared to antibodies become particularly significant as treatments are more personlized and case-specific. Aptahem’s RNA aptamers have specifically shown to be very safe, i e with low toxicity, and have at the same time indicated a strong effect on coagulation, inflammation and tissue repair. Also, they do not seem to go into the cell, which Aptahem considers an advantage as effects of the cell nucleus might lead to unwanted immunological effects.