May 6, 2005 — Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, announced a new proprietary non-viral nucleic acid nanoparticle technology that introduces DNA into cells of the retina and other optic tissues to treat important causes of blindness, including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and various viral infections. In collaborative studies with Dr. Muna Naash at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, gene transfer efficiencies of up to 99 percent were achieved according to findings reported at the 2005 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
“We are most enthusiastic about these findings,” said Dr. Robert C. Moen, president and CEO of Copernicus. “These data show that our nucleic acid nanoparticle platform can efficiently introduce genes into the eye. These remarkable findings are more than tenfold more efficient than any competing gene transfer technology. These findings further demonstrate the platform nature of our nucleic acid nanoparticle technology, which enables us to develop therapeutics for different parts of the body and multiple diseases. Our lead program, which already has had a successful clinical trial, involves developing a therapy for a serious disease affecting the lung, cystic fibrosis.”