Israeli drug development company Silenseed is to begin a Phase II multicenter trial for its pancreatic cancer treatment. The study, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will be held at several leading medical centers in the US with the participation of 80 patients. At the same time, the Modi’in based company is raising $10 million in order to help conduct the trial. To date, Silenseed has raised $10 million, mainly from private investors, including leading Israeli cancer researchers.

Silenseed’s drug is based on siRNA, a promising technology which has yet to be translated into an effective treatment. siRNA has been marked out as a potential new family of drugs compared with most treatments today which are based on proteins or protein agents. siRNA prevents the decoding of certain proteins from a gene called KRAS, which creates a mutation that becomes a cancerous cell.

the slow progress made by siRNA technology stems among other things through the difficulty of delivering the RNA to the right place in the body and into the cell because it breaks up so easily.

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