Modular lipid nanoparticle platform technology for siRNA and lipophilic prodrug delivery

Roy van der Meel (Corresponding author), Sam Chen, Josh Zaifman, Jayesh A. Kulkarni, Xu Ran Sabrina Zhang, Ying K. Tam, Marcel B Bally, Raymond M. Schiffelers, Marco A. Ciufolini, Pieter R. Cullis, Yuen Yi C. Tam

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Successfully employing therapeutic nucleic acids, such as small interfering RNA (siRNA), requires chemical modifications or the use of nanocarrier technology to prevent their degradation and facilitate intracellular delivery. Lipid nanoparticles (LNP) are among the most advanced nanocarriers and have facilitated the first siRNA therapeutic's clinical translation and approval. One of LNPs' major advantages is their applicability as modular platform technology due to the interchangeable siRNA payload. In addition, drug derivatization approaches can be used to synthesize lipophilic small molecule prodrugs that stably incorporate in LNPs. This provides ample opportunities to develop combination therapies by co-encapsulating multiple therapeutic agents in a single formulation. Here, we describe how the modular LNP platform can be applied for combined gene silencing and chemotherapy to induce additive anti-cancer effects. We show that various lipophilic taxane prodrug derivatives and siRNA against the androgen receptor, a prostate cancer driver, can be efficiently and stably co-encapsulated in LNPs. In addition, we demonstrate that prodrug incorporation does not affect LNPs' gene silencing ability and that the combination therapy induces additive therapeutic effects in vitro. Using a double-radiolabeling approach, we quantitively determined the LNPs' and prodrugs' pharmacokinetic properties and biodistribution following systemic administration in tumor-bearing mice. Our results indicate that co-encapsulation of siRNA and lipophilic prodrugs into LNPs could be an attractive and straightforward approach for combination therapy development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2020


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