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Development of lipid nanoparticle formulations of siRNA for hepatocyte gene silencing following subcutaneous administration.

Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society (2014-10-07)
Sam Chen, Yuen Yi C Tam, Paulo J C Lin, Alex K K Leung, Ying K Tam, Pieter R Cullis

Recently developed lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations of siRNA have proven to be effective agents for hepatocyte gene silencing following intravenous administration with at least three LNP-siRNA formulations in clinical trials. The aim of this work was to develop LNP-siRNA systems for hepatocyte gene silencing that can be administered subcutaneously (s.c.). Three parameters were investigated, namely LNP size, residence time of the polyethylene glycol (PEG)-lipid coating and the influence of hepatocyte-specific targeting ligands. LNP sizes were varied over the range of 30 to 115 nm in diameter and PEG-lipid that dissociates rapidly (PEG-DMG) and slowly (PEG-DSG) were employed. In mice, results show that large (~80 nm) LNP exhibited limited accumulation in the liver and poor Factor VII (FVII) gene silencing at 1mg siRNA/kg body weight. Conversely, small (~30 nm) LNP systems showed maximal liver accumulation yet still had minimal activity. Interestingly, intermediate size (~45 nm) LNP containing PEG-DSG exhibited nearly equivalent liver accumulation as the smaller systems following s.c. administration but reduced FVII levels by 80% at 1mg siRNA/kg body weight. Smaller systems (~35 nm diameter) containing either PEG-DMG or PEG-DSG were less active; however addition of 0.5 mol.% of a GalNAc-PEG lipid to these smaller systems improved activity to levels similar to that observed for the ~45 nm diameter systems. In summary, this work shows that appropriately designed LNP-siRNA systems can result in effective hepatocyte gene silencing following s.c administration.

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