Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) RNA Biology Laboratory have developed nanoparticles that can deliver an agent (i.e., therapeutic or imaging) and release the agent upon targeted photoactivation allowing for controlled temporal and localized release of the agent.
This technology provides improved processes for production and purification of nucleic acid-containing compositions, such as non-naturally occurring viruses, for example, recombinant polioviruses that can be employed as oncolytic agents. Some of the improved processes relate to improved processes for producing viral DNA template.
The technology is directed to the use of single-stranded RNA overhangs or toeholds of varying lengths (< 12 nucleotides) contained in nucleic acid-based nanoparticles which trigger the association of these nanoparticles and activates multiple functionalities such as gene silencing and/or cell-specific targeting. The use of RNA toeholds is superior to that of DNA toeholds in that it allows for smaller nanoparticles (fewer nucleotides for the toeholds) resulting in greater chemical stability, less immunogenic and higher yield of production. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for use of RNA overhangs or toeholds in nucleic acid nanoparticles.