10:54 AM
 | 
Jul 26, 2017
 |  BC Innovations  |  Emerging Company Profile

Breaching the gates

How Junction is using siRNAs to transiently breach the blood-brain barrier

Junction Therapeutics Ltd.’s siRNA-based technology creates transient openings in the blood-brain barrier by targeting tight junction proteins, allowing molecules to move in and out of the brain by diffusion. The approach enhances entry of therapies to treat cancers and CNS diseases, and promotes clearance from the brain of neurotoxic substances like β-amyloid.

Scientific co-founder Matthew Campbell told BioCentury the newco conjugates siRNA to a polyethylenimine carrier to produce a positively charged nanoparticle. The siRNA targets the particle to the tight junctions - where Campell said tight junction proteins are expressed at “orders of magnitude greater levels” than in peripheral endothelial cells - and is dosed separately from the active drug, with the timing optimized according to the drug’s PK. Campbell is a professor of neurovascular genetics at Trinity College Dublin.

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