CELL PENETRATING PEPTIDES CHEMICAL MODIFICATION AND FORMULATION DEVELOPMENT
Sammanfattning: Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) have been extensively studied and exploited as drug delivery vectors for a wide variety of therapeu-tic cargos. However, several issues remain to be addressed regarding the enhancement of their efficiency and stability. In addition, to be available for patients, CPP-based therapeutics have to be formulated into suitable pharmaceutical forms that can be readily manufactured, transported, stored and conveniently used.In this thesis, three chemically modified CPPs are developed having superior delivery properties for several nucleic acid-based the-rapeutic cargoes including: plasmids, small interfering RNA (siRNA) and splice switching oligonucleutides (SSOs), in different in-vitro and in-vivo models. In Paper I, we show that an N-terminally stearic acid-modified version of transportan-10 (TP10) can form stable nanopar-ticles with plasmids that efficiently transfect different cell types and can mediate efficient gene delivery in-vivo when administrated intra muscularly (i.m.) or intradermaly (i.d.). In paper II, stearyl-TP10 is further modified with pH titratable trifluoromethylquinoline moieties to facilitate endosomal release. The new peptide, denoted PepFect 6 (PF6), elicited robust RNAi responses when complexed with siRNA in several cell models and promoted strong RNAi responses in differ-ent organs following systemic delivery in mice without any associated toxicity. In paper III , a new peptide with ornithine modification, PF14, is shown to efficiently deliver SSOs in different cell models including HeLa pLuc705 and mdx mouse myotubes; a cell culture model of Duchenne?s muscular dystrophy (DMD). Additionally, we have developed a method for incorporating this delivery system into solid formulation that could be suitable for several therapeutic appli-cations. Solid dispersion technique is utilized and the formed solid formulations are as active as the freshly prepared nanocparticles in solution even when stored at elevated temperatures for several weeks.Taken together, these results demonstrate that certain chemical modifications could drastically enhance the activity and stability of CPPs in-vitro and in-vivo. Moreover, we show that CPP-based thera-peutics could be formulated into convenient and manufacturable do-sage forms.
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