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Novel lipids and compositions for the delivery of therapeutics / Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Title: Novel lipids and compositions for the delivery of therapeutics.
Abstract: The present invention provides lipids that are advantageously used in lipid particles for the in vivo delivery of therapeutic agents to cells. In particular, the invention provides lipids having the following structure: ...

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USPTO Applicaton #: #20120095075
Inventors: Muthiah Manoharan, Kallanthottathil G. Rajeev, David Butler, Narayanannair K. Jayaprakash, Muthusamy Jayaraman, Laxman Eltepu

The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120095075, Novel lipids and compositions for the delivery of therapeutics.


This application claims is continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/128,253, filed on May 9, 2011, which is a national phase of International Application No. PCT/US09/63933, filed Nov. 10, 2009, which priority to U.S. Ser. No. 61/113,179, filed Nov. 10, 2008; U.S. Ser. No. 61/154,350, filed Feb. 20, 2009; U.S. Ser. No. 61/171,439, filed Apr. 21, 2009; U.S. Ser. No. 61/185,438, filed Jun. 9, 2009; U.S. Ser. No. 61/225,898, filed Jul. 15, 2009; and U.S. Ser. No. 61/234,098, filed Aug. 14, 2009, the contents of each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.


The work described herein was carried out, at least in part, using funds from the U.S. Government under grant number HHSN266200600012C awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The government may therefore have certain rights in the invention.


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1. Technical Field

The present invention relates to the field of therapeutic agent delivery using lipid particles. In particular, the present invention provides cationic lipids and lipid particles comprising these lipids, which are advantageous for the in vivo delivery of nucleic acids, as well as nucleic acid-lipid particle compositions suitable for in vivo therapeutic use. Additionally, the present invention provides methods of making these compositions, as well as methods of introducing nucleic acids into cells using these compositions, e.g., for the treatment of various disease conditions.

2. Description of the Related Art

Therapeutic nucleic acids include, e.g., small interfering RNA (siRNA), micro RNA (miRNA), antisense oligonucleotides, ribozymes, plasmids, immune stimulating nucleic acids, antisense, antagomir, antimir, microRNA mimic, supermir, U1 adaptor, and aptamer. These nucleic acids act via a variety of mechanisms. In the case of siRNA or miRNA, these nucleic acids can down-regulate intracellular levels of specific proteins through a process termed RNA interference (RNAi). Following introduction of siRNA or miRNA into the cell cytoplasm, these double-stranded RNA constructs can bind to a protein termed RISC. The sense strand of the siRNA or miRNA is displaced from the RISC complex providing a template within RISC that can recognize and bind mRNA with a complementary sequence to that of the bound siRNA or miRNA. Having bound the complementary mRNA the RISC complex cleaves the mRNA and releases the cleaved strands. RNAi can provide down-regulation of specific proteins by targeting specific destruction of the corresponding mRNA that encodes for protein synthesis.

The therapeutic applications of RNAi are extremely broad, since siRNA and miRNA constructs can be synthesized with any nucleotide sequence directed against a target protein. To date, siRNA constructs have shown the ability to specifically down-regulate target proteins in both in vitro and in vivo models. In addition, siRNA constructs are currently being evaluated in clinical studies.

However, two problems currently faced by siRNA or miRNA constructs are, first, their susceptibility to nuclease digestion in plasma and, second, their limited ability to gain access to the intracellular compartment where they can bind RISC when administered systemically as the free siRNA or miRNA. These double-stranded constructs can be stabilized by incorporation of chemically modified nucleotide linkers within the molecule, for example, phosphothioate groups. However, these chemical modifications provide only limited protection from nuclease digestion and may decrease the activity of the construct. Intracellular delivery of siRNA or miRNA can be facilitated by use of carrier systems such as polymers, cationic liposomes or by chemical modification of the construct, for example by the covalent attachment of cholesterol molecules. However, improved delivery systems are required to increase the potency of siRNA and miRNA molecules and reduce or eliminate the requirement for chemical modification.

Antisense oligonucleotides and ribozymes can also inhibit mRNA translation into protein. In the case of antisense constructs, these single stranded deoxynucleic acids have a complementary sequence to that of the target protein mRNA and can bind to the mRNA by Watson-Crick base pairing. This binding either prevents translation of the target mRNA and/or triggers RNase H degradation of the mRNA transcripts. Consequently, antisense oligonucleotides have tremendous potential for specificity of action (i.e., down-regulation of a specific disease-related protein). To date, these compounds have shown promise in several in vitro and in vivo models, including models of inflammatory disease, cancer, and HIV (reviewed in Agrawal, Trends in Biotech. 14:376-387 (1996)). Antisense can also affect cellular activity by hybridizing specifically with chromosomal DNA. Advanced human clinical assessments of several antisense drugs are currently underway. Targets for these drugs include the bcl2 and apolipoprotein B genes and mRNA products.

Immune-stimulating nucleic acids include deoxyribonucleic acids and ribonucleic acids. In the case of deoxyribonucleic acids, certain sequences or motifs have been shown to illicit immune stimulation in mammals. These sequences or motifs include the CpG motif, pyrimidine-rich sequences and palindromic sequences. It is believed that the CpG motif in deoxyribonucleic acids is specifically recognized by an endosomal receptor, toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9), which then triggers both the innate and acquired immune stimulation pathway. Certain immune stimulating ribonucleic acid sequences have also been reported. It is believed that these RNA sequences trigger immune activation by binding to toll-like receptors 6 and 7 (TLR-6 and TLR-7). In addition, double-stranded RNA is also reported to be immune stimulating and is believe to activate via binding to TLR-3.

One well known problem with the use of therapeutic nucleic acids relates to the stability of the phosphodiester internucleotide linkage and the susceptibility of this linker to nucleases. The presence of exonucleases and endonucleases in serum results in the rapid digestion of nucleic acids possessing phosphodiester linkers and, hence, therapeutic nucleic acids can have very short half-lives in the presence of serum or within cells. (Zelphati, O., et al., Antisense. Res. Dev. 3:323-338 (1993); and Thierry, A. R., et al., pp 147-161 in Gene Regulation: Biology of Antisense RNA and DNA (Eds. Erickson, R P and Izant, J G; Raven Press, NY (1992)). Therapeutic nucleic acid being currently being developed do not employ the basic phosphodiester chemistry found in natural nucleic acids, because of these and other known problems.

This problem has been partially overcome by chemical modifications that reduce serum or intracellular degradation. Modifications have been tested at the internucleotide phosphodiester bridge (e.g., using phosphorothioate, methylphosphonate or phosphoramidate linkages), at the nucleotide base (e.g., 5-propynyl-pyrimidines), or at the sugar (e.g., 2′-modified sugars) (Uhlmann E., et al. Antisense: Chemical Modifications. Encyclopedia of Cancer, Vol. X., pp 64-81 Academic Press Inc. (1997)). Others have attempted to improve stability using 2′-5′ sugar linkages (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,532,130). Other changes have been attempted. However, none of these solutions have proven entirely satisfactory, and in vivo free therapeutic nucleic acids still have only limited efficacy.

In addition, as noted above relating to siRNA and miRNA, problems remain with the limited ability of therapeutic nucleic acids to cross cellular membranes (see, Vlassov, et al., Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1197:95-1082 (1994)) and in the problems associated with systemic toxicity, such as complement-mediated anaphylaxis, altered coagulatory properties, and cytopenia (Galbraith, et al., Antisense Nucl. Acid Drug Des. 4:201-206 (1994)).

To attempt to improve efficacy, investigators have also employed lipid-based carrier systems to deliver chemically modified or unmodified therapeutic nucleic acids. In Zelphati, O. and Szoka, F. C., J. Contr. Rel. 41:99-119 (1996), the authors refer to the use of anionic (conventional) liposomes, pH sensitive liposomes, immunoliposomes, fusogenic liposomes, and cationic lipid/antisense aggregates. Similarly siRNA has been administered systemically in cationic liposomes, and these nucleic acid-lipid particles have been reported to provide improved down-regulation of target proteins in mammals including non-human primates (Zimmermann et al., Nature 441: 111-114 (2006)).

In spite of this progress, there remains a need in the art for improved lipid-therapeutic nucleic acid compositions that are suitable for general therapeutic use. Preferably, these compositions would encapsulate nucleic acids with high-efficiency, have high drug:lipid ratios, protect the encapsulated nucleic acid from degradation and clearance in serum, be suitable for systemic delivery, and provide intracellular delivery of the encapsulated nucleic acid. In addition, these lipid-nucleic acid particles should be well-tolerated and provide an adequate therapeutic index, such that patient treatment at an effective dose of the nucleic acid is not associated with significant toxicity and/or risk to the patient. The present invention provides such compositions, methods of making the compositions, and methods of using the compositions to introduce nucleic acids into cells, including for the treatment of diseases.



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The present invention provides novel cationic lipids, as well as lipid particles comprising the same. These lipid particles may further comprise an active agent and be used according to related methods of the invention to deliver the active agent to a cell.

In one aspect, the invention provides lipids having the structure of formula I:

salts or isomers thereof, wherein:

R1 and R2 are each independently for each occurrence optionally substituted C10-C30 alkyl, optionally substituted C10-C30 alkoxy, optionally substituted C10-C30 alkenyl, optionally substituted C10-C30 alkenyloxy, optionally substituted C10-C30 alkynyl, optionally substituted C10-C30 alkynyloxy, or optionally substituted C10-C30 acyl, or -linker-ligand;

R3 is independently for each occurrence H, optionally substituted C1-C10 alkyl, optionally substituted C2-C10 alkenyl, optionally substituted C2-C10 alkynyl, optionally substituted alkylheterocycle, optionally substituted heterocyclealkyl, optionally substituted alkylphosphate, optionally substituted phosphoalkyl, optionally substituted alkylphosphorothioate, optionally substituted phosphorothioalkyl, optionally substituted alkylphosphorodithioate, optionally substituted phosphorodithioalkyl, optionally substituted alkylphosphonate, optionally substituted phosphonoalkyl, optionally substituted amino, optionally substituted alkylamino, optionally substituted di(alkyl)amino, optionally substituted aminoalkyl, optionally substituted alkylaminoalkyl, optionally substituted di(alkyl)aminoalkyl, optionally substituted hydroxyalkyl, optionally substituted polyethylene glycol (PEG, mw 100-40K), optionally substituted mPEG (mw 120-40K), optionally substituted heteroaryl, or optionally substituted heterocycle, or linker-ligand;

X and Y are each independently —O—, —S—, alkylene, —N(Q)-, —C(O)—, —O(CO), —OC(O)N(Q)-, —N(Q)C(O)O—, —C(O)O, —OC(O)O—, —OS(O)(Q2)O—, or —OP(O)(Q2)O—;

Q is H, alkyl, ω-aminoalkyl, ω-(substituted)aminoalkyl, ω-phosphoalkyl, or ω-thiophosphoalkyl;

Q1 is independently for each occurrence O or S;

Q2 is independently for each occurrence O, S, N(Q)(Q), alkyl or alkoxy;

A1, and A2 are each independently —O—, —S—, —CH2—, —CHR5—, —CR5R5—, —CHF— or —CF2—;

Z is N, or C(R3); and

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20120419|20120095075|novel lipids and compositions for the delivery of therapeutics|The present invention provides lipids that are advantageously used in lipid particles for the in vivo delivery of therapeutic agents to cells. In particular, the invention provides lipids having the following structure: |Alnylam-Pharmaceuticals-Inc