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Activated small interfering RNA (siRNA) microneedles for pathological scar treatment

Country of Origin: Singapore
Reference Number: TOSG20210201001
Publication Date: 1 February 2021

Summary

A Singapore institute of higher learning has developed a world-first clinically effective and pain-free treatment of pathological scars using topical small interfering RNA (siRNA) microneedles. This patented technology comprises of a dissolvable microneedle containing activated siRNA for scar treatment. The team is currently working towards clinical trials.

The technology provider is interested in licensing or commercial partnerships with technical assistance with MNEs/SMEs.

Description

Currently, there is no definitive and effective treatment for pathological scars (keloids and hypertrophic scars), which is a significant part of the USD 17.94 billion (2018, CAGR of 9.9%) global scar therapy market. Patients inflicted with pathological scars suffer from physical, mental and social comorbidity, and have described themselves as “desperate for any treatment that will actually work”.

To address this need, the Singapore institute of higher learning has developed a clinically effective and pain-free treatment of pathological scars using topical siRNA microneedles. siRNA is a class of double-stranded non-coding RNA molecule typically with 21-23 base pairs in length. It can provide sequence-specific gene therapy to many undruggable genes and thus can be efficiently designed and targeted for any diseases. The technology comprises a dissolvable microneedle containing activated siRNA for scar treatment. The microneedle provides the painless transdermal delivery of gene-silencing siRNA to the cellular environment, thus significantly diminishing the production of collagen and achieving scar reduction. This biocompatible pain-free and simple application can be used as topical and localised treatment on wounds or on scar sites.

The current innovation comprises of a patented technology that activates and protects siRNA against degradation in the body, so that they can effectively silence the targeted gene to achieve protein down regulation. The platform technology can be used for a wide range of targets to achieve effective siRNA delivery and gene silencing, including the treatment and prevention of pathological and surgical scars (as described in this innovation), and others such as anti-wrinkle, anti-pigmentation or anti-inflammation of the skin.

The activated siRNA cast as the tips of the microneedles has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment and prevention of scar in mouse excisional wound model.

The team has identified a strong customer segment comprising patients inflicted with pathological scars and individuals who want to prevent any form of scarring after surgery or skin trauma. It is currently working towards clinical trials with clinical partners.

The technology provider is interested in licensing or commercial partnerships with technical assistance with MNEs/SMEs of all sizes, preferably from the medical, cosmetic, dermatology, plastic surgery and biotechnology sectors.
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Advantages and Innovations

The common use of silicone gel/sheets for scar treatment has been shown to be clinically ineffective. Treatment by steroid injection into scars shows limited success, but it is painful and suffers from high rate of scar recurrence. The current siRNA-microneedle patch is effective because it directly addresses the root cause of excessive collagen production in scars. It is pain-free and easy to use, which significantly improves treatment adherence.

Stage Of Development

Project already started

Requested partner

The Singapore institute of higher learning is interested in the following types of partnerships with MNEs or SMEs from the medical, cosmetic, dermatology, plastic surgery and biotechnology sectors:

i) Licensing agreement - The partner could license the technology for further development and introduce it to its customers.

ii) Commercial agreement with technical assistance - The partner could utilise the technology with technical support from the technology provider.

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