Celanese and Secarna Collaborate on Long-Acting Antisense Therapies

27.03.2024 - US chemical group Celanese and Germany’s Secarna Pharmaceuticals, an antisense drug discovery and development company, entered a research collaboration for the development of long-acting implants that deliver antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs).

ASOs are synthetic molecules designed to target specific messenger RNA to prevent the production of proteins implicated in the progression of a wide range of diseases including cardiometabolic, central nervous system, oncological and rare diseases. Antisense therapy is an innovative therapeutic approach, but often requires frequent administration or the delivery of large doses to achieve uptake at the intended site of action.

Therefore, the partners want to leverage Celanese’s VitalDose drug delivery platform and Secarna’s proprietary ASO drug discovery and development platform to develop ASO-eluting implants, which have the potential to lessen the dosing frequency, minimize off-target immune responses and improve targeting. According to Celanese, its drug delivery platform offers reliable, controlled release. It has long been used in the US and Europe for parenteral drugs and has demonstrated stable ASO release over a year.

“Collaborating with Secarna allows us to develop an innovative implant that has the potential to significantly change the way disease-modifying ASO therapies are administered,” said Cyonna Holmes, global business strategy leader for Ophthalmology and RNA at Celanese.

Konstantin Petropoulos, chief business officer of Secarna Pharmaceuticals, commented: “Together we see the potential to enhance the way our targeted ASO therapies are delivered which ultimately serves our shared goal: to make highly specific, potent, safe and convenient therapeutic options available for patients who urgently need them.”

Celanese said that scientists at its development & feasibility lab will conduct parts of the planned research independently in a dedicated pharmaceutical facility.