TransKingdom RNA-Interference (tkRNAi) is a platform technology that can be used to develop products for diverse, commercially valuable disease targets. Small molecules have limited capacity to block non-enzymatic cellular events and there are few drugable targets for monoclonal antibodies. In contrast, RNAi can potently and selectively silence any cellular gene or combination of genes, making it an ideal approach to influence the behavior of cells where the role of individual protein or proteins is known. One, or more than one, gene can be simultaneously silenced.

In previous work, Cequent’s scientists have validated this approach by demonstrating potent silencing of specific genes with tkRNAi (Nature Biotechnology May, 2006) and therapeutic activity in animal models based on silencing of the K-ras oncogene and beta-catenin gene. Extending these results, Cequent has also shown selective gene silencing in the gastrointestinal tract following oral administration of engineered commensal E. coli, suggesting therapeutic applications in treating diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as inflammatory bowel disorders, polyps, and cancers.