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The potency of antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) drugs has significantly improved in the clinic after exploiting asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGR) mediated delivery to hepatocytes. To further this technology, we evaluated the structure-activity relationships of oligonucleotide chemistry on in vivo potency of GalNAc-conjugated Gapmer ASOs. GalNAc conjugation improved potency of ASOs containing 2'-O-methyl (2'-O-Me), 3'-fluoro hexitol nucleic acid (FHNA), locked nucleic acid (LNA), and constrained ethyl bicyclo nucleic acid (cEt BNA) 10-20-fold compared to unconjugated ASOs. We further demonstrate that GalNAc conjugation improves activity of 2'-O-(2-methoxyethyl) (2'-O-MOE) and Morpholino ASOs designed to correct splicing of survival motor neuron (SMN2) pre-mRNA in liver after subcutaneous administration. GalNAc modification thus represents a viable strategy for enhancing potency of ASO with diverse nucleic acid modifications and mechanisms of action for targets expressed in hepatocytes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
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