• Animal study shows effective protection of mitochondria from oxidative damage and reduced plaque vulnerability in advanced atherosclerosis following treatment with SOD2 mRNA nanoparticles based on Altamira's SemaPhore™ technology
• Data presented at American Heart Association Annual Scientific Sessions Chicago 2022, earlier this month
HAMILTON, BERMUDA / ACCESSWIRE / November 22, 2022 / Altamira Therapeutics ("Altamira" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:CYTO), a company dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs, today announced the presentation of animal data generated by an atherosclerosis research group at the University of Michigan School of Medicine (Ann Arbor, MI) showing effective delivery of mRNA, and protective effects in arteries, with its SemaPhore™ delivery technology.
The data was presented at the prestigious American Heart Association Annual Scientific Sessions Chicago 2022, earlier this month.
The research group tested the delivery of Superoxide Dismutase 2 (SOD2) mRNA with Altamira's peptide-based SemaPhore nanoparticles to boost SOD2 expression in advanced atherosclerotic plaque cells in a mouse model. SOD2 is one of the major antioxidant defense systems against free radicals but is known to be reduced in inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis.
The group hypothesized that increasing SOD2 expression would protect mitochondria from oxidative damage and preserve plaque stability. Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arteries, involving the formation of plaque on the walls, and is the underlying cause of about 50% of all deaths in westernized society. Erosion or rupture of advanced atherosclerotic plaque is the leading cause of atherosclerosis complications such as heart attack and stroke.
Treatment of mice by systemic administration of SOD2 mRNA nanoparticles resulted in markedly increased levels of SOD2 mRNA and mitochondrial SOD2 in plaque macrophages (p<0.01), and higher local SOD activity, which resulted in lower levels of mitochondrial and cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and improved mitochondrial function. After only four weeks of intermittent (2x/wk) i.v. mRNA therapy, mice treated with SOD2 mRNA exhibited 25% fewer inflammatory macrophages (p<0.01) and 98% more smooth muscle cells (p<0.001) in plaques and plaque caps, which was associated with decreased plaque vulnerability (p<0.05) compared to control. The research group concluded: "Using nanoparticle-based mRNA therapeutics to modulate plaque morphology has great potential in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis complications."
Samuel Wickline, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Altamira, a co-author of the study, suggested that: "The opportunity to systemically deliver potent mRNA therapeutics to inflammatory pathologies such as atherosclerosis sets the stage for controlled regulation of harmful reactive oxidant species in this and other disease conditions."
SemaPhore is a versatile platform for safe and effective delivery of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) into target cells. It is based on a patented 21-amino acid peptide that can engage any type of RNA in rapid self-assembly into a polyplex. The polyplex has a size, charge, and other physical features that allow it to escape hepatic clearance and thus to reach other target tissues than the liver. SemaPhore protects the RNA payload from degradation in the circulation and allows for rapid cellular uptake, while enabling pH-dependent nucleotide endosomal escape and cytoplasmic delivery. Effective delivery of mRNA and positive treatment outcomes have been demonstrated in various murine models of disease, including osteoarthritis (WNT16), atherosclerosis (p27Kip1) and aortic aneurysm (SOD2).
About Altamira Therapeutics
Altamira Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CYTO) is dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs. The Company is currently active in three areas: the development of RNA therapeutics for extrahepatic therapeutic targets (OligoPhore™ / SemaPhore™ platforms; preclinical), nasal sprays for protection against airborne allergens and, where approved, viruses (Bentrio™; commercial) or for the treatment of vertigo (AM-125; Phase 2), and the development of therapeutics for intratympanic treatment of tinnitus or hearing loss (Keyzilen® and Sonsuvi®; Phase 3). Founded in 2003, it is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, with its main operations in Basel, Switzerland. For more information, visit: https://altamiratherapeutics.com/
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SOURCE: Altamira Therapeutics Ltd.