Ionizable lipid nanoparticles for in utero mRNA delivery

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Science Advances  13 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 3, eaba1028
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba1028


Clinical advances enable the prenatal diagnosis of genetic diseases that are candidates for gene and enzyme therapies such as messenger RNA (mRNA)–mediated protein replacement. Prenatal mRNA therapies can treat disease before the onset of irreversible pathology with high therapeutic efficacy and safety due to the small fetal size, immature immune system, and abundance of progenitor cells. However, the development of nonviral platforms for prenatal delivery is nascent. We developed a library of ionizable lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) for in utero mRNA delivery to mouse fetuses. We screened LNPs for luciferase mRNA delivery and identified formulations that accumulate within fetal livers, lungs, and intestines with higher efficiency and safety compared to benchmark delivery systems, DLin-MC3-DMA and jetPEI. We demonstrate that LNPs can deliver mRNAs to induce hepatic production of therapeutic secreted proteins. These LNPs may provide a platform for in utero mRNA delivery for protein replacement and gene editing.

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