siRNA Function and Screening


A new wave of therapeutics utilizing RNAi is currently in preclinical and clinical trials.  This new class of drug compounds and ways to shorten the development process from beginning to end depends on the near-term success of RNAi in vitro and in vivo functional and screening experiments.  Treating conditions that have not responded to traditional drugs is an exciting avenue enabled by RNAi technologies.  By utilizing the synergistic effects of small molecules and RNAi therapeutics, pharmaceutical companies are able to reduce toxicity effects while increasing the efficacy of their drugs in danger of failing clinical trials.

Function and screening services for RNAi helps to identify druggable targets, screening of genome-wide activity and assay development.  Often, researchers require the help of RNAi experts in the design and execution of targeting genes of interest associated with their particular disease of study.  This interest is coming from research institutions worldwide, including pharmaceutical and biotech companies along with academic institutions.


RNAi technology is still fairly new and many laboratories are not setup to perform RNAi screening (do not have necessary equipment or knowledge).  This is where it is in the best interest of the research group to allow experts from a commercial service aid in the experimental design and execution.  siRNA libraries may contain over 50,000 individual oligonucleotide molecules to screen.  Taking into consideration experimental setup to include replicates, one can easily see that an experiment in one cultured cell line can exceed over 100,000 data points.  As a result, automation of RNAi screening has been integrated into the workflow to accomplish what most laboratories would take years to accomplish.  The libraries can be used to screen genes associated with particular phenotypes due to loss-of-function, signaling research, identification of biomarkers, oncology research and a vast array of other biomedical experiments.

Contract research organizations offer access to a range of RNAi technologies, including synthetic siRNA oligonucleotides, phenotypic assay development, vector based RNAi, streamlined target cloning procedures, high throughput capabilities and access to reagents with proven performance.  Highly efficient animal siRNA delivery kits include nanoparticle– or liposome-based siRNA in vivo transfection reagents.

CRO pre-clinical services can include toxicity testing, IC50 determination, RNAi services, cell line derived xenograft (CDX mouse models) animal studies, siRNA liposome encapsulation, generation of stable cell lines, in vivo siRNA delivery, development of inducible RNAi cell lines, biodistribution research studies, cell banking and cryopreservation services in a GLP-compliant lab.