Philips, RXi Pharma to research image-guided cell therapy

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Royal Philips Electronics and RXi Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company, have entered into a joint research agreement to combine the proprietary technologies from both companies to explore the targeted delivery of experimental therapeutics based on RNA interference (RNAi).

Compounds based on RNAi represent a new class of drugs for the targeted treatment of a number of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to the companies. Currently, they said, one of the greatest challenges in developing RNAi-based therapeutics is finding ways to deliver them to their target while keeping them fully active.

The joint research program between Philips and RXi will seek to address this challenge by exploring, in preclinical studies, the possibility of using RXi’s self-delivering rxRNA, in conjunction with Philips’ ultrasound technology to achieve the targeted delivery and monitoring of RNAi-based compounds in cells.

The companies said each will contribute proprietary technologies, resources and expertise to test approaches for the targeted delivery of RXi’s sd-rxRNA compounds in appropriate preclinical models using ultrasound-mediated drug delivery under image guidance.

The preparation and research will be conducted at Philips’ Life Tech research facilities at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and at RXi’s research and development facilities in Worcester, Mass., which also serves as its headquarters.