(19)
(11)EP 2 178 509 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.04.2017 Bulletin 2017/17

(21)Application number: 08797258.4

(22)Date of filing:  06.08.2008
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61K 9/19  (2006.01)
A61K 47/26  (2006.01)
A61K 47/38  (2006.01)
A61K 9/00  (2006.01)
A61K 47/36  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2008/072306
(87)International publication number:
WO 2009/021017 (12.02.2009 Gazette  2009/07)

(54)

NUCLEIC ACID-LIPOPOLYMER COMPOSITIONS

NUKLEINSÄURE-LIPOPOLYMER-ZUSAMMENSETZUNGEN

COMPOSITIONS À BASE D'UN ACIDE NUCLÉIQUE ET D'UN LIPOPOLYMÈRE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR
Designated Extension States:
AL BA MK RS

(30)Priority: 06.08.2007 US 890805
16.07.2008 US 11

(43)Date of publication of application:
28.04.2010 Bulletin 2010/17

(73)Proprietor: CLSN Laboratories, Inc.
Wilmington, DE 19808 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • MATAR, Majed
    Madison, AL 35758 (US)
  • FEWELL, Jason
    Madison, AL 35758 (US)
  • LEWIS, Danny, H.
    Hartselle, AL 35640-7960 (US)
  • ANWER, Khursheed
    Madison, AL 35758 (US)

(74)Representative: HGF Limited 
8th Floor 140 London Wall
London EC2Y 5DN
London EC2Y 5DN (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A-02/22174
WO-A-96/21036
WO-A-02/30468
WO-A-2005/060934
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The invention relates to concentrated and stable formulations comprising nucleic acid and lipopolymer and to compositions, methods of preparation, and applications thereof. Accordingly, this invention involves the fields of molecular biology and biochemistry.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Synthetic gene delivery vectors have considerable advantage over viral vectors due to better safety compliance, simple chemistry, and cost-effective manufacturing. However, due to low transfection efficiency of the synthetic vectors as compared to that of the viral vectors, most of the development in synthetic gene delivery systems has focused on improving delivery efficiency. Consequently, little attention has been given to the pharmaceutical development of synthetic delivery systems, although problems have been identified in formulation stability, scale up, and dosing flexibility. Pharmaceuticals containing DNA that self-assembles into nanoparticles often exhibit poor stability, particularly when the formulation is an aqueous suspension. In such formulations, DNA with synthetic vectors will typically aggregate over time, especially at concentrations required for optimal dosing in a clinical setting. Such formulations are often difficult to prepare at DNA concentrations >0.3 mg/ml, which limits their commercial applications, especially for local delivery where volume constraints would limit flexible dosing. DNA aggregation reduces or eliminates the activity of the DNA and therefore makes the composition unsuitable for use in treatment.

    [0003] This physical instability is one of the underlying reasons for loss of transfection activity. Manifestation of particle rupture or fusion due to high curvature of the lipid bilayer or physical dissociation of lipid from DNA have also been postulated as potential underlying reasons for poor stability and aggregation of cationic lipid based gene delivery complexes. Chemical modification such as oxidative hydrolysis of the delivery vectors may also contribute to particle instability.

    [0004] Because of poor stability, the early clinical trials required that DNA formulations be prepared by the bedside. Not having the ability to prepare and store the clinical product at concentrations required for optimal dosing is a major obstacle in the broad clinical practice and commercialization of the non-viral DNA products. This would require physicians training on drug formulation and pose on-site quality control measures.

    [0005] Freeze-drying is a useful method for improving long-term stability of a number of drug pharmaceuticals. However, this process is not normally suitable for drying DNA complexes with synthetic vectors as it tends to alter their physicochemical properties and results in aggregation and loss of transfection upon reconstitution.

    [0006] Several approaches have been attempted to prevent formulation aggregation and damage during lyophilization. In some cases, lyophilization of DNA complexes in the presence of a cryoprotectant such as low molecular weight sugars, dextrans, and polyethylene glycol may provide better stability to the product, but that approach does not appear to improve dosing flexibility. Addition of sugars is often the most commonly used approach for this purpose. Many of the test sugars have been found to prevent formulation damage and particle aggregation to some extent, but the quality of this effect varies with the type of sugar and the delivery vector used.

    [0007] Although lyophilization provides some improvement in formulation shelf life, the conditions required to produce lyophilized DNA products allow for only limited pharmaceutical applications. Even with the most effective lyoprotectant sugars, a very high sugar/DNA molar ratio (typically greater than 1000:1) is required for stability. As a result, the lyophilized product often must be diluted by a very large factor to obtain an isotonic formulation, which results in a drop in the final DNA concentration to the pre-lyophilized DNA concentration. For many cationic carriers the final DNA concentration may typically be about 0.1 - 0.2 mg/ml, and often below 0.1 mg/ml. Although low concentration formulations are sufficient for in vitro studies, their clinical application may be limited due to high volume requirement for optimal dosing. For example, at the optimal sugar concentration needed for stability, a 1 mg dose of DNA may need to be diluted in 5-10 ml to maintain isotonicity, which is too large a volume for local in vivo administration. This pharmaceutical limitation, prohibitive of flexible dosing, is one of the principal contributors to suboptimal efficacy of synthetic gene delivery systems in human clinical trials and and warrants the need for more concentrated DNA formulations that are stable and biologically active.

    [0008] WO02/22174 EXPRESSION GENETICS INC describes biodegradable, cationic lipopolymer comprising branched polyethyleneimine (PEI), a cholesterol derived lipid anchor, and a biodegradable linker which covalently links the branched PEI and cholesterol derived lipid anchor. The cationic lipopolymers are used in delivery of nucleic acid to various organs or tissues after local or systemic administration. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is mentioned for use as a linker for conjugating targeting ligands to amine groups of the PEI.

    [0009] WO2005/060934 EXPRESSION GENETICS INC describes a biodegradable cationic lipopolymer comprising a polyethyleneimine (PEI), a lipid, and a biocompatible hydrophilic polymer. The lipid and biocompatible hydrophilic polymer are directly linked to the PEI backbone. Alternatively, the lipid is linked to the PEI backbone through the biocompatible hydrophilic polymer. These hydrophilic lipopolymers can be used to deliver nucleic acids to various organs and tissues after local or systemic administration.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0010] The invention provides compositions that demonstrate unexpected stability at high nucleic acid concentration and that increase the efficiency and dosing flexibility of nucleic acid transfection. The compositions described herein can efficiently be lyophilized and reconstituted to various nucleic acid concentrations, including high nucleic acid concentrations, without losing biological activity or aggregation of nucleic acid.

    [0011] In one aspect, the invention provides compositions, preferably pharmaceutical compositions, comprising a mixture of a cationic lipopolymer and at least about 0.5 mg/ml of a nucleic acid, where the mixture is suspended in an aqueous solution. The cationic lipopolymer comprises a polyethyleneimine (PEI) backbone having cholesterol and polyethylene glycol groups independently covalently attached thereto. The molar ratio of cholesterol to polyethyleneime backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10, and the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol to cationic polymer backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10. The composition includes a filler excipient. In certain aspects, the mixture of nucleic acid and lipopolymer forms a complex. In certain aspects the composition comprises condensed nucleic acid. The amount of nucleic acid that is condensed will generally depend on the compositional makeup of the nucleic acid and the conditions under which composition is prepared. Optional or preferred compositions are set forth in claims 2 and 11.

    [0012] The invention also provides a methods of making a pharmaceutical composition as set forth in claim 12.

    [0013] The invention further provides a composition as set forth in claim 13 which is a dry pharmaceutical composition of any of claims 1 to 11.

    [0014] Described herein are lyophilized compositions of a nucleic acid and a lipopolymer. A lyophilized composition, preferably a lyophilized pharmaceutical composition, of the invention comprises a mixture of a filler excipient, a nucleic acid condensed, and a cationic lipopolymer. As noted above, the cationic lipopolymer includes a cationic polymer backbone having cholesterol and polyethylene glycol covalently attached thereto, and wherein the molar ratio of cholesterol to cationic polymer backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10, and the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol to cationic polymer backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10.

    [0015] The invention additionally provides compositions for use in the treatment of diseases and/or disorders by e.g., transfecting various cells and tissues, as set forth in claim 14 and claim 15.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0016] 

    FIG. 1 is a schematic of a manufacturing process of the invention.

    FIG. 2 shows graphs of particle size of nucleic acids in concentrated and non-concentrated states.

    FIG. 3 shows results of an electrophoretic experiment to show nucleic acid condensation.

    FIG. 4 shows graphs of transfection activity according to a further embodiment of the invention.

    FIG. 5A and Fig. 5B are photographs of neural slices showing the results of treatment with lipopolymer with and without IL-12..

    FIG. 6 shows two graphs of anticancer efficacy of IL-12 with lipopolymer compared with controls.

    FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B are graphs of particle size of various nucleic acid/cationic polymer mixtures.

    FIG. 8A and FIG 8B are graphs of luciferase expression of resulting from various nucleic acid/cationic polymer mixtures.

    FIG. 9 is a graph showing the biological activity of a nucleic acid/cationic lipopolymer composition after long-term storage.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0017] Before the invention is disclosed and described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular structures, process steps, or materials disclosed herein, but is extended to equivalents thereof as would be recognized by those ordinarily skilled in the relevant arts. It should also be understood that terminology employed herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting since the scope of the invention will be limited only by the appended claims and equivalents thereof.

    [0018] It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

    [0019] As used herein, the terms "condensed nucleic acid" and "partially condensed nucleic acid" are used to refer to a nucleic acid that has been contacted with a cationic lipopolymer of the invention. In certain aspects, the condensed nucleic acid remains in contact with the cationic lipopolymer. Condensed nucleic acids typically occupy a significantly smaller volume than non-condensed nucleic acids. It is recognized, however, that the amount of condensed nucleic acid may vary with local environment (e.g., lipid as opposed to aqueous environment). In various aspects of the invention, the condensed nucleic acids are those in nanoparticles of nucleic acid and cationic lipopolymer having a size of from about 50 nm to about 300 nm, more preferably from about 50-200, and even more preferably from about 50-150 nm. "Partially condensed nucleic acid" refers to a nucleic acid that has been contacted with a cationic lipopolymer of the invention wherein the nucleic acid is less than fully condensed, yet still occupy a significantly smaller volume than non-condensed nucleic acid.

    [0020] As used herein, the term "complex" means nucleic acid that is associated with lipopolymer, preferably, cationic lipopolymer. A complex that includes condensed nucleic acid and cationic lipopolymer will typically exist as particles, preferably as nanoparticle.

    [0021] As used herein, the terms "transfecting" and "transfection" refer to the transportation of nucleic acids from the environment external to a cell to the internal cellular environment, with particular reference to the cytoplasm and/or cell nucleus. Without being bound by any particular theory, it is to be understood that nucleic acids may be delivered to cells either after being encapsulated within or adhering to one or more cationic polymer/nucleic acid complexes or being entrained therewith. Particular transfecting instances deliver a nucleic acid to a cell nucleus.

    [0022] As used herein, "subject" refers to a mammal that may benefit from the administration of a drug composition or method of this invention. Examples of subjects include humans, and may also include other animals such as horses, pigs, cattle, dogs, cats, rabbits, and aquatic mammals.

    [0023] As used herein, "composition" refers to a mixture of two or more compounds, elements, or molecules. In some aspects the term "composition" may be used to refer to a mixture of a nucleic acid and a delivery system.

    [0024] As used herein, "N:P ratio" refers to the molar ratio of amine nitrogens in the functionalized cationic lipopolymer and the phosphate groups in the nucleic acid.

    [0025] As used herein, "physicochemical properties" refers to various properties such as, without limitation, particle size and surface charge of nucleic acid complexes with a cationic polymer, pH and osmolarity of the particle solution, etc.

    [0026] As used herein, the terms "administration," "administering," and "delivering" refer to the manner in which a composition is presented to a subject. Administration can be accomplished by various art-known routes such as oral, parenteral, transdermal, inhalation, implantation, etc. Thus, an oral administration can be achieved by swallowing, chewing, sucking of an oral dosage form comprising the composition. Parenteral administration can be achieved by injecting a composition intravenously, intra-arterially, intramuscularly, intraarticularly, intrathecally, intraperitoneally, subcutaneously, etc. Injectables for such use can be prepared in conventional forms, either as a liquid solution or suspension, or in a solid form that is suitable for preparation as a solution or suspension in a liquid prior to injection, or as an emulsion. Additionally, transdermal administration can be accomplished by applying, pasting, rolling, attaching, pouring, pressing, rubbing, etc., of a transdermal composition onto a skin surface. These and additional methods of administration are well-known in the art. In one specific aspect, administration may include delivering a composition to a subject such that the composition circulates systemically and binds to a target cell to be taken up by endocytosis.

    [0027] As used herein, the term "nucleic acid" refers to DNA and RNA, as well as synthetic congeners thereof. Non-limiting examples of nucleic acids may include plasmid DNA encoding protein or inhibitory RNA producing nucleotide sequences, synthetic sequences of single or double strands, missense, antisense, nonsense, as well as on and off and rate regulatory nucleotides that control protein, peptide, and nucleic acid production. Additionally, nucleic acids may also include, without limitation, genomic DNA, cDNA, siRNA, shRNA, mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, hybrid sequences or synthetic or semi-synthetic sequences, and of natural or artificial origin. In one aspect, a nucleotide sequence may also include those encoding for synthesis or inhibition of a therapeutic protein. Non-limiting examples of such therapeutic proteins may include anti-cancer agents, growth factors, hypoglycemic agents, anti-angiogenic agents, bacterial antigens, viral antigens, tumor antigens or metabolic enzymes. Examples of anti-cancer agents may include interleukin-2, interleukin-4, interleukin-7, interleukin-12, interleukin-15, interferon-α, interferon-β, interferon-γ, colony stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage stimulating factor, anti-angiogenic agents, tumor suppressor genes, thymidine kinase, eNOS, iNOS, p53, p16, TNF-α, Fas-ligand, mutated oncogenes, tumor antigens, viral antigens or bacterial antigens. In another aspect, plasmid DNA may encode for an shRNA molecule designed to inhibit protein(s) involved in the growth or maintenance of tumor cells or other hyperproliferative cells. Furthermore, in some aspects a plasmid DNA may simultaneously encode for a therapeutic protein and one or more shRNA. In other aspects a nucleic acid may also be a mixture of plasmid DNA and synthetic RNA, including sense RNA, antisense RNA, ribozymes, etc. In addition, the nucleic acid can be variable in size, ranging from oligonucleotides to chromosomes. These nucleic acids may be of human, animal, vegetable, bacterial, viral, or synthetic origin. They may be obtained by any technique known to a person skilled in the art.

    [0028] As used herein, the term "concentrated" refers to a composition whose dilution has been reduced. In some aspects of the invention a "concentrated" composition comprises condensed DNA, preferably in an isotonic solution. In a particular aspect of the invention a concentrated composition comprises at least about 0.5 mg/ml of condensed DNA suspended in an isotonic solution.

    [0029] As used herein, the term "polymeric backbone" is used to refer to a collection of polymeric backbone molecules having a weight average molecular weight within the designated range. As such, when a molecule such as cholesterol is described as being covalently attached thereto within a range of molar ratios, it should be understood that such a ratio represents an average number of cholesterol molecules attached to the collection of polymeric backbone molecules. For example, if cholesterol is described as being covalently attached to a polymeric backbone at a molar ratio of 0.5, then, on average, one half of the polymeric backbone molecules will have cholesterol attached. As another example, if cholesterol is described as being covalently attached to a polymeric backbone at a molar ratio of 1.0, then, on average, one cholesterol molecule will be attached to each of the polymeric backbone molecules. In reality, however, it should be understood that in this case some polymeric backbone molecules may have no cholesterol molecules attached, while other polymeric backbone molecules may have multiple cholesterol molecules attached, and that it is the average number of attached cholesterol molecules from which the ratio is derived. The same reasoning applies to the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol to the polymeric backbone.

    [0030] As used herein, the term "peptide" may be used to refer to a natural or synthetic molecule comprising two or more amino acids linked by the carboxyl group of one amino acid to the alpha amino group of another. A peptide of the invention is not limited by length, and thus "peptide" can include polypeptides and proteins.

    [0031] As used herein, the terms "covalent" and "covalently" refer to chemical bonds whereby electrons are shared between pairs of atoms.

    [0032] As used herein, a plurality of items, structural elements, compositional elements, and/or materials may be presented in a common list for convenience. However, these lists should be construed as though each member of the list is individually identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same list solely based on their presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary.

    [0033] Concentrations, amounts, and other numerical data may be expressed or presented herein in a range format. It is to be understood that such a range format is used merely for convenience and brevity and thus should be interpreted flexibly to include not only the numerical values explicitly recited as the limits of the range, but also to include all the individual numerical values or sub-ranges encompassed within that range as if each numerical value and sub-range is explicitly recited. As an illustration, a numerical range of "about 1 to about 5" should be interpreted to include not only the explicitly recited values of about 1 to about 5, but also include individual values and sub-ranges within the indicated range. Thus, included in this numerical range are individual values such as 2, 3, and 4 and sub-ranges such as from 1-3, from 2-4, and from 3-5, etc., as well as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, individually. This same principle applies to ranges reciting only one numerical value as a minimum or a maximum. Furthermore, such an interpretation should apply regardless of the breadth of the range or the characteristics being described.

    [0034] The invention provides techniques whereby low concentration nucleic acid compositions (e.g., 0.15 mg/ml) may be highly concentrated without affecting the physico-chemical or biological properties of the nucleic acid or nucleic acid compositions. In one aspect, nucleic acid compositions may be concentrated by 33-fold or more without affecting these properties. These highly concentrated nucleic acid compositions allow for a wide range of dosing regimens in vivo, which have previously been tremendously challenging due to poor stability issues associated with prior attempts to achieve concentrations above -0.3 mg/ml.

    [0035] More specifically, the invention provides concentrated and stable pharmaceutical compositions, including methods for preparing and using such compositions. In one aspect, for example, a pharmaceutical composition is provided including at least about 0.5 mg/ml of a nucleic acid, where the nucleic acid is complexed with a cationic lipopolymer and the complex is suspended in an aqueous solution. The complex suspended in the aqueous comprises partially or fully condensed nucleic acid molecules. The cationic lipopolymer comprises a polyethyleneimine (PEI) backbone having cholesterol and polyethylene glycol groups (i.e., molecules) covalently attached thereto. The molar ratio of cholesterol molecules to PEI backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10, and the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol molecules to PEI is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10. The composition further comprises a filler excipient. In another aspect, the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol molecules to PEI backbone in the cationic lipopolymer is within a range of from about 1 to about 10. In yet another aspect, the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol molecules to PEI backbone in the cationic lipopolymer is within a range of from about 1 to about 5. In a further aspect, the molar ratio of cholesterol molecules to PEI backbone in the cationic lipopolymer is within a range of from about 0.3 to about 5. In yet a further aspect, the molar ratio of cholesterol molecules to PEI backbone in the cationic lipopolymer is within a range of from about 0.4 to about 1.5.

    [0036] The resulting composition is suitable for delivery of the nucleic acid to a target cell to elicit, inhibit, or modify a biological response depending on the function of the nucleic acid.

    [0037] In one aspect, the cholesterol and polyethylene glycol molecules may be independently and directly covalently attached to the PEI backbone. In another aspect, the cholesterol and polyethylene glycol molecules are each covalently attached indirectly to the PEI backbone. For example, the cholesterol molecule may be coupled, directly or indirectly via a linker or spacer, to the polyethylene glycol molecule, which is in turn covalently attached to the PEI backbone. Alternatively, the cholesterol molecule may be directly attached to PEI backbone while the polyethylene glycol molecule is indirectly attached to the lipopolymer via a linker or spacer.

    [0038] A particular linker between the polyethylene glycol and the PEI backbone is an alkylene group carrying a terminal carboxy group, preferably a straight chain alkylene group of from 1 to 20 carbon atoms, and more preferably from about 2 to about 4 carbon atoms. The terminal carboxy group on the linker, when attached to an amino group of the PEI backbone forms an amide bond between the cationic lipopolymer and the polyethylene glycol. A starting polyethylene glycol suitable for reacting with the PEI backbone molecule is a polyethylene glycol carrying a linker molecule that is terminated by an activatng group, e.g., an N-hydroxysuccinimidyl ester. One example of such a polyethylene glycol is methoxypolyethyleneglycol-propionic acid N-hydroxysuccinimidyl ester.

    [0039] An example of a portion of a cationic lipopolymer structure resulting from the reaction between a polyethyleneimine, cholesteryl chloroformate (stereochemistry omitted), and methoxypolyethyleneglycol-propionic acid N-hydroxysuccinimidyl ester is the following structure. The graphic convention reflects the approximate distribution of primary, secondary and tertiary aminogroups in polyethylenimine and, for the purposes of clarity here, assumes a nonexisting regularity of polyethylenimine chain.



    [0040] In various aspects of the invention, n is typically about 8 to about 20, more particularly about 10 to about 15, and even more particularly about 12; x is typically about 2 to about 3, more particularly about 2.5; y is typically about 6 to about 10, more particularly about 7 to about 9, and even more particularly 7.5; z typically is about 0.4 to about 0.8, more particularly about 0.5 to about 0.7, and even more particularly about 0.6.

    [0041] Additionally, in some aspects nucleic acids that have previously been condensed using a secondary condensing system may be further condensed using the techniques presented herein to achieve greater stability of nucleic acid at high concentrations. As such, prior to condensation according to aspects of the invention, the nucleic acid may be in a partially condensed or a non-condensed form. The secondary condensing system may include any condensing material or technique known to one of ordinary skill in the art, including, but not limited to, cationic lipids, cationic peptides, cyclodextrins, cationized gelatin, dendrimers, chitosan, and combinations thereof.

    [0042] Various degrees of condensation of a nucleic acid may be achieved for the composition according to aspects of the invention. In one aspect, all the nucleic acids or a substantial portion of the nucleic acids in the composition are condensed by forming complexes with the cationic polymer. In another aspect, about 30% by weight of the nucleic acids in the composition are condensed. In yet another aspect, about 50% by weight of the nucleic acid in the composition is condensed. In a further aspect, about 70% by weight of the the nucleic acid in the composition is condensed. In yet a further aspect,90% by weight of the nucleic acid is condensed.

    [0043] Additionally, the concentration of nucleic acid in the composition will vary depending on the materials used in the composition, the methods of concentration, and the intended use of the nucleic acid. In one aspect, however, the concentration of the nucleic acid is at least about 0.5 mg/ml. In another aspect, the concentration of the nucleic acid is at least about 1 mg/ml. In yet another aspect, the concentration of the nucleic acid is at least about 3 mg/ml. In a further aspect, the concentration of the nucleic acid may be at least about 5 mg/ml. In yet a further aspect, the concentration of the nucleic acid may be at least about 10 mg/ml. In another aspect, the concentration of the nucleic acid may be at least about 20 mg/ml. In yet another aspect, the concentration of the nucleic acid may be from about 10 mg/ml to about 40 mg/ml.

    [0044] Various methods may be utilized to determine the degree of condensation of a nucleic acid composition. For example, in one aspect the composition may be electrophoresed to determine the degree to which nucleic acids in the composition have formed complexes with the cationic polymer added to the composition. The electrostatic attraction of the negatively charged nucleic acid to the positively charged cationic lipopolymer inhibits the nucleic acid from moving through an agarose gel. Accordingly, following electrophoresis, nucleic acids that are condensed by complexing with the cationic polymer remain immobile in the gel, while non-condensed nucleic acids, nucleic acids not associated with the cationic polymer, will have traveled a distance relative to the strength of the electrical current in the gel. In another example, nucleic acid condensation can be determined by particle sizes within the composition. Particle size can be measured by dynamic light scattering. Typically, condensed nucleic acids will have a smaller particle size than non-condensed nucleic acids. Preferred condensed nucleic acids are those in nanoparticles of nucleic acid and cationic lipopolymer having a size of from about 50 nm to about 300 nm, more preferably from about 50-200, and even more preferably from about 50-150 nm.

    [0045] Any known nucleic acid may be utilized in the compositions and methods according to aspects of the invention, including those examples described above. As such, the nucleic acids described herein should not be seen as limiting. In one aspect, for example, the nucleic acid may include a plasmid encoding for a protein, polypeptide, or peptide. Numerous peptides are well known that would prove beneficial when formulated as pharmaceutical compositions according to aspects of the invention. Non-limiting examples of a few of such peptides may include interleukin-2, interleukin-4, interleukin-7, interleukin-12, interleukin-15, interferon-α, interferon-β, interferon-γ, colony stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, angiogenic agents, clotting factors, hypoglycemic agents, apoptosis factors, anti-angiogenic agents, thymidine kinase, p53, IP10, p16, TNF-α, Fas-ligand, tumor antigens, neuropeptides, viral antigens, bacterial antigens, and combinations thereof. In one specific aspect, the nucleic acid may be a plasmid encoding for interleukin-12. In another aspect, the nucleic acid may be a plasmid encoding for an inhibitory ribonucleic acid. In yet another aspect, the nucleic acid may be a synthetic short interfering ribonucleic acid. In a further aspect, the nucleic acid is an anti-sense molecule designed to inhibit expression of a therapeutic peptide.

    [0046] In accordance with the invention the cationic lipopolymer comprises a polyethylenimine backbone having cholesterol and polyethylene glycol covalently attached thereto. The cationic polymer backbone may further comprise any cationic polymer known to one of ordinary skill in the art that may be used to condense and concentrate a nucleic acid according to the various aspects of the invention. The cationic lipopolymer comprising polyethylenimine, may further comprise poly(trimethylenimine), poly(tetramethylenimine), polypropylenimine, aminoglycoside-polyamine, dideoxy-diamino-b-cyclodextrin, spermine, spermidine, poly(2-dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate, poly(lysine), poly(histidine), poly(arginine), cationized gelatin, dendrimers, chitosan, and combinations thereof.

    [0047] In a particular aspect, the lipopolymer consists of polyethylenimine (PEI) covalently linked independently to cholesterol and polyethylene glycol. In this aspect, the average PEG:PEI:Cholesterol molar ratio in the cationic lipopolymer is about 2-3:1:0.25-1, and preferably about 2.25-2.75:1:0.4-0.8, and more preferably about 2.5:1:0.6. In a particular aspect, such a lipopolymer has a molecular weight (as the free base) of about from about 3-4kD, preferably from about 3.25-3.75 kD, and more preferably about 3.54 kD; the corresponding hydrochloric acid salt has a molecular weight of from about 4-5 kD, preferably about 4.5 kD.

    [0048] Additionally, the molecular weight of a PEI backbone may vary, depending on numerous factors including the properties of the nucleic acid, the intended use of the composition, etc. In one aspect, however, the PEI backbone may have a molecular weight of from about 100 to about 500,000 Daltons. Furthermore, the molecular weight of the other various components of the cationic lipopolymer may also vary. In one aspect, for example, polyethylene glycol may have a molecular weight of from about 50 to about 20,000 Daltons.

    [0049] In constructing the pharmaceutical compositions of the invention, it has been discovered that the molar ratio between the amine nitrogen in the functionalized cationic lipopolymer and the phosphate in the nucleic acid (N:P ratio) may affect the degree to which the nucleic acid may be condensed and/or concentrated. Although the optimal N:P ratio may vary somewhat depending on the chemical characteristics of the nucleic acid, in one aspect the ratio of amine nitrogen in the cationic polymer backbone to phosphate in the nucleic acid is from about 0.1:1 to about 100:1. In another aspect, the ratio of amine nitrogen in the cationic polymer backbone to phosphate in the nucleic acid is from about 3:1 to about 20:1. In yet another aspect, the ratio of amine nitrogen in the cationic polymer backbone to phosphate in the nucleic acid is from about 6:1 to about 15:1. In other aspects, the ratio of amine nitrogen to phosphate in the nucleic acid is from about 3:1 to about 100:1, or about 5:1 to about 100:1, or about 7:1 to about 100:1. In a still another aspect, the ratio is from about 10:1 to about 100:1, or more preferably 10:1 to about 20:1. In one specific aspect, the ratio of amine nitrogen in the cationic polymer backbone to phosphate in the nucleic acid is about 11:1.

    [0050] The filler excipient may provide a variety of beneficial properties to the formulation, such as cryoprotection during lyophilization and reconstitution, binding, isotonic balance, stabilization, etc. It should be understood that the filler material may vary between compositions, and the particular filler used should not be seen as limiting. In one aspect, for example, the filler excipient may include various sugars, sugar alcohols, starches, celluloses, and combinations thereof. In another aspect, the filler excipient may include lactose, sucrose, trehalose, dextrose, galactose, mannitol, maltitol, maltose, sorbitol, xylitol, mannose, glucose, fructose, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, glycine, maltodextrin, hydroxymethyl starch, gelatin, sorbitol, ficol, sodium chloride, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, polyethylene glycol, and combinations thereof. In yet another aspect the filler excipient may include lactose, sucrose, trehalose, dextrose, galactose, mannitol, maltitol, maltose, sorbitol, xylitol, mannose, glucose, fructose, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, glycine, maltodextrin, and combinations thereof. In one specific aspect, the filler excipient may include sucrose. In another specific aspect, the filler excipient may include lactose.

    [0051] The concentration of the filler excipient in the composition may be from about 0.01% to about 5%, more particularly about 0.1% to about 3.0%, and even more particularly from about 0.1% to about 0.3%.

    [0052] In some aspects it may be beneficial to functionalize the cationic lipopolymer to allow targeting of specific cells or tissues in a subject or culture. Such targeting is well known, and the examples described herein should not be seen as limiting. In one aspect, for example, the cationic lipopolymer may include a targeting moiety covalently attached to either the cationic lipopolymer or to the polyethylene glycol molecule. Such a targeting moiety may allow the cationic lipopolymer to circulate systemically in a subject to locate and specifically target a certain cell type or tissue. Examples of such targeting moieties may include transferrin, asialoglycoprotein, antibodies, antibody fragments, low density lipoproteins, cell receptors, growth factor receptors, cytokine receptors, folate, transferrin, insulin, asialoorosomucoid, mannose-6-phosphate, mannose, interleukins, GM-CSF, G-CSF, M-CSF, stem cell factors, erythropoietin, epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin, asialoorosomucoid, mannose-6-phosphate, mannose, LewisX and sialyl LewisX, N-acetyllactosamine, folate, galactose, lactose, and thrombomodulin, fusogenic agents such as polymixin B and hemaglutinin HA2, lysosomotrophic agents, nucleus localization signals (NLS) such as T-antigen, and combinations thereof. The selection and attachment of a particular targeting moiety is well within the knowledge of one of ordinary skill in the art.

    [0053] The invention also provides lyophilized pharmaceutical compositions that may be stored for long periods of time and reconstituted prior to use. In one aspect, a lyophilized pharmaceutical composition may include a lyophilized mixture of a filler excipient and at least 0.5 mg/ml
    nucleic acid condensed with a cationic lipopolymer, where the cationic lipopolymer comprises a PEI backbone having cholesterol and polyethylene glycol covalently attached thereto, and wherein the molar ratio of cholesterol to PEI backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10, and the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol to cationic polymer backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10. The lyophilized pharmaceutical composition may be in a variety of forms, ranging from dry powders to partially reconstituted mixtures.

    [0054] The invention also includes methods of making various pharmaceutical compositions containing condensed nucleic acids. In one aspect, for example, a method of making a pharmaceutical composition having a condensed nucleic acid concentrated in an isotonic solution to at least 0.5 mg/ml is provided. Such a method may include mixing a nucleic acid and a cationic lipopolymer in a filler excipient, where the cationic lipopolymer
    comprises a PEI backbone having cholesterol and polyethylene glycol covalently attached thereto, and wherein the molar ratio of cholesterol to cationic polymer backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10, and the molar ratio of polyethylene glycol to cationic polymer backbone is within a range of from about 0.1 to about 10. The mixture may be lyophilized to a powder to concentrate the nucleic acid mixture and later reconstituted with a diluent to form a solution including at least about 0.5 mg/ml condensed nucleic acid in an isotonic solution.

    [0055] Generally, the composition may be obtained by mixing a nucleic acid solution with a cationic lipopolymer solution in the presence of a disaccharide sugar followed by lyophilization and reconstitution in an isotonic solution. This process is scalable, producing a few milligrams (bench scale) to several thousand milligrams (GMP scale) of the highly concentrated nucleic acid formulations with prolonged shelf life. As has been described, the cationic lipopolymer has a cationic polymer backbone to which polyethylene glycol and cholesterol are attached by covalent linkages. In the case of a polyethylenimine backbone, in one aspect the stoichiometry between polyethylene glycol and polyethylenimine and between cholesterol and polyethylenimine is in the range of 0.5-10 and 0.1-10, respectively. The chemical composition of the cationic polymer may be important to obtaining highly concentrated stable nucleic acid formulations. Cationic polymers that do not exhibit cholesterol and PEG attachment do not tend to produce stable highly concentrated formulations, as is shown in the Examples below.

    [0056] The compositions according to aspects of the invention can also be combined with other condensed complexes of nucleic acid to achieve greater stability of the complexes at high nucleic acid concentrations. For example, various amounts of PEG-PEI-Cholesterol can be added to enhance the stability of other nucleic acid delivery systems that are generally unstable at high nucleic acid concentrations.

    [0057] In various aspects, the synthetic delivery systems include a nucleic acid and cationic carrier which may be prepared by various techniques available in the art. A number of cationic carriers for nucleic acids are known: for example, polyethylenimine, poly(trimethylenimine), poly(tetramethylenimine), polypropylenimine, aminoglycoside-polyamine, dideoxy-diamino-b-cyclodextrin, spermine, spermidine, poly(2-dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate, poly(lysine), poly(histidine), poly(arginine), cationized gelatin, dendrimers, chitosan, cationic lipids such as 1,2-Dioleoyl-3-Trimethylammonium-Propane(DOTAP), N-[1-(2,3-dioleoyloxy)propyl]-N,N,N-trimethylammonium chloride (DOTMA), 1-[2-(oleoyloxy)ethyl]-2-oleyl-3-(2-hydroxyethyl)imidazolinium chloride (DOTIM), 2,3-dioleyloxy-N-[2(sperminecarboxamido)ethyl]-N,N-dimethyl-1-propanaminium trifluoroacetate (DOSPA), 3ß-[N-(N',N'-Dimethylaminoethane)-carbamoyl]Cholesterol Hydrochloride (DC-Cholesterol HCl) diheptadecylamidoglycyl spermidine (DOGS), N,N-distearyl-N,N-dimethylammonium bromide (DDAB), N-(1,2-dimyristyloxyprop-3-yl)-N,N-dimethyl-N-hydroxyethyl ammonium bromide (DMRIE), N,N-dioleyl-N,N-dimethylammonium chloride DODAC) and combinations thereof. When these delivery systems are combined with PEG-PEI-Cholesterol, stability of the nucleic acid delivery system is increased.

    [0058] Aspects of the invention also provide methods of using pharmaceutical compositions. For example, in one aspect a method of transfecting a mammalian cell may include contacting the mammalian cell with a composition as described herein, and incubating the mammalian cell under conditions to allow the composition to enter the cell and elicit biological activity of the nucleic acid. Such transfection techniques are known to those of ordinary skill in the art. Additionally, in another aspect a targeted tissue may be transfected by delivering the composition into a warm blooded organism or subject. Such delivery may be by a form of administration such as intratumoral, intraperitoneal, intravenous, intra-arterial, intratracheal, intrahepaticportal, oral, intracranial, intramuscular, intraarticular and combinations thereof. Such targeted tissue may include any tissue or subset of tissue that would benefit from transfection. For example, and without limitation, such targeted tissue may include ovary, uterus, stomach, colon, rectum, bone, blood, intestine, pancreas, breast, head, neck, lungs, spleen, liver, kidney, brain, thyroid, prostate, urinary bladder, thyroid, skin, abdominal cavity, thoracic cavity, and combinations thereof.

    Examples



    [0059] The following examples are provided to promote a more clear understanding of certain embodiments of the invention, and are in no way meant as a limitation thereon.

    Preparation A



    [0060] One gram of branched polyethyleneimine (PEI) 1800 Da (0.56 mM) is dissolved in 5 ml of chloroform and placed in a ml round bottom flask and stirred for 20 minutes at room temperature. Three hundred eighty milligrams of cholesteryl chloroformate (0.84 mM) and 500 mg of activated methoxypolyethyleneglycol (MPEG-SPA, methoxypolyethyleneglycol-propionic acid N-hydroxysuccinimidyl ester) (550 Da)(0.91 mM) are dissolved in 5 ml chloroform and transferred to an addition funnel which is located on the top of the round bottom flask containing the PEI solution. The mixture of cholesteryl chloroformate and MPEG-SPA in chloroform is slowly added to PEI solution over 5-10 minutes at room temperature. The solution is stirred for an additional 4 hrs at room temperature. After removing the solvent by a rotary evaporator, the remaining sticky material is dissolved in 20 ml of ethyl acetate with stirring. The product is precipitated from the solvent by slowly adding 20 ml of n-Hexane; the liquid is decanted from the product. The product is washed two times with a 20 ml mixture of ethyl acetate/n-Hexane (1/1; v/v). After decanting the liquid, the material is dried by purging nitrogen gas for 10-15 minutes. The material is dissolved in 10 ml of 0.05 N HCl to prepare the salt form of the amine groups. The aqueous solution is filtered through 0.2 µm filter paper. The final product is obtained by lyophilization.

    [0061] The molar ratio of this example preparation is 3.0 moles of MPEG-SPA and 1.28 moles of cholesterol conjugated to one mole of PEI molecules.

    Preparation B



    [0062] Twenty grams (11.1 mmol) of branched PEI (BPEI) and 200mL of dry chloroform are mixed together to dissolve the BPEI. Following dissolution, a solution containing 4 g of cholesteryl chloroformate and 18.7 g (26 mmol) of activated methoxypolyethyleneglycol (MPEG-SPA methoxypolyethyleneglycol-propionic acid N-hydroxysuccinimidyl ester, MPEG MW 550, ester MW 719) in 200 mL of dry chloroform is added dropwise to the reaction mixture with stirring over 20-30 min followed by a 3-4 hour incubation period. The mixture is then placed under vacuum to concentrate the solution and remove the residual chloroform. The resulting residue is dissolved in 320 mL of 1M aqueous HCl and stirred. This solution of PPC hydrochloride is again concentrated under vacuum, yielding a highly viscous material. To isolate PPC hydrochloride and remove the reaction byproducts and unreacted starting materials, the concentrated mixture is mixed with acetone (<0.4% water) and stirred leading to PPC hydrochloride precipitation as a free-flowing material. Following precipitation, the supernatant liquid is discarded. The hygroscopic PPC hydrochloride is dried under the vacuum.

    [0063] Polymer DNA complexes are generated first by preparing PPC and DNA at the appropriate concentrations in 10% lactose. Stock solutions of cationic polymer (5 mg/ml) and DNA (3 mg/ml) in water for injection are diluted in a lactose solution ranging from 0.3-3%: these are required to achieve a final 10% lactose concentration upon reconstitution. The DNA is then added dropwise with stirring to the PPC solution and incubated for 15 min at room temperature to form the complexes.

    [0064] 500 µl of prepared composition is added to 2 ml borosilicate glass vials and placed in a freedryer. Vials are cooled to -34°C for 4 hours before the start of the primary drying. After 24 hours, the shelf temperature is raised to 20°C and kept under vacuum for another 24 hours. Finally the shelf temperature is raised to 4°C and vials are capped under vacuum.

    Preparation C



    [0065] One hundred eighty milligrams of branched PEI 1800 (0.1mM) is dissolved in 4 ml of chloroformate and stirred for 30 minutes at room temperature. Seventy milligrams of cholesteryl chloroformate (0.14mM) and 48mg PEG 330 (0.14 mM) are dissolved in 1 ml of chloroformate, and slowly added to the PEI solution over 3-10 minutes using a syringe. The mixture is stirred for 4 hrs at room temperature. After addition of 10 ml of ethyl acetate for precipitation, the solution is incubated overnight at -20°C, and then the liquid is decanted from the flask. The remaining material is washed 2 times with a 5 ml mixture of ethyl acetate/n-Hexane (1/1; v/v). The remaining material is dried by nitrogen purge for 10-15 minutes, dissolved in 10 ml of 0.05N HCl for 20 minutes, and then the solution is filtered through a 0.2 µm syringe filter. The aqueous solution is lyophilized by freeze drying to remove water from the polymers.

    [0066] The molar ratio of this preparation is 0.85 moles of PEG and 0.9 moles of cholesterol conjugated to one mole of PEI molecules.

    Preparation D



    [0067] Five hundred milligrams of 25 kDa linear PEI (0.02 mM) is dissolved in 30 ml and stirred at 65°C for 30 minutes. The three-neck flask is equipped with a condensation and addition funnel. A mixture of 200 mg of mPEG-NHS 1000 (0.2 mM) and 40 mg cholesteryl chloroformate (0.08 mM) in 5 ml chloroform is slowly added to the PEI solution over 3-10 minutes. The solution is stirred constantly for an additional 4 hrs at 65°C, and then volume is reduced to about 5 ml in a rotary evaporator. The solution is precipitated in 50 ml of ethyl ether to remove free cholesterol, the liquid is decanted from the flask, and the remaining material is washed two times with 20 ml of ethyl ether. After drying with pure nitrogen, the material is dissolved in a mixture of 10 ml of 2.0 N HCl and 2ml of trifluoroacetic acid. The solution is dialyzed against deionized water using a MWCO 15000 dialysis tube for 48 hrs with changing of fresh water every 12 hrs. The solution is lyophilized to remove water.

    [0068] The molar ratio of this preparation is 12.0 moles of PEG and 5.0 moles of cholesterol conjugated to one mole of PEI molecules.

    Preparation E



    [0069] One gram of PEI (MW: 1200 Daltons) is dissolved in a mixture of 15 mL of anhydrous methylene chloride and 100 µl of triethylamine (TEA). After stirring on ice for 30 minutes, 1.2 g of cholesteryl chloroformate solution is slowly added to the PEI solution and the mixture is stirred overnight on ice. The resulting product is precipitated by adding ethyl etherfollowed by centrifugation and subsequent washing with additional ethyl ether and acetone. Water-insoluble lipopolymer is dissolved in chloroform to give a final concentration of 0.08 g/mL. Following synthesis and purification, the water-insoluble lipopolymer is characterized using MALDI-TOFF MS and 1H NMR.

    [0070] The NMR measurement of water insoluble lipopolymer1200 shows the amount of cholesterol conjugated to the PEI is about 40%. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric analysis of the water-insoluble lipopolymer shows its molecular weight to be approximately 1600.

    Preparation F



    [0071] Three grams of PEI (MW: 1800 Daltons) is stirred for 30 minutes on ice in a mixture of 10 ml of anhydrous ethylene chloride and 100 µl of triethylamine. One gram of cholesteryl chloroformate is dissolved in 5 ml of anhydrous ice-cold methylene chloride and then slowly added over 30 minutes to the PEI solution. The mixture is stirred for 12 hours on ice and the resulting product is dried in a rotary evaporator. The powder is dissolved in 50 ml of 0.1 N HCl. The aqueous solution is extracted three times with 100 mL of methylene chloride, and then filtered through a glass microfiber filter. The product is concentrated by solvent evaporation, precipitated with a large excess of acetone, and dried under vacuum. The product is analyzed using MALDI-TOF mass spectrophotometry and 10 1H NMR. The NMR results of water soluble lipopolymer 1800 show the amount of cholesterol conjugated to PEI is about 47%. MALDI-TOFF mass spectrometric analysis of PEACE shows its molecular weight to be approximately 2200. This suggests that the majority of PEACE 1800 is of a 1/1 molar ratio of cholesterol and PEI, although some were either not conjugated or are conjugated at a molar ratio of 2/1 (cholesterol/PEI).

    Preparation G



    [0072] Fifty milligrams PEI 1800 is dissolved in 2 mL of anhydrous methylene chloride on ice. Then, 200 µL of benzyl chloroformate is slowly added to the reaction mixture and the solution is stirred for four hours on ice. Following stirring, 10 mL of methylene chloride is added and the solution is extracted with 15 mL of saturated NH4Cl. Water is removed from the methylene chloride phase using magnesium sulfate. The solution volume is reduced under vacuum and the product, CBZ protected PEI is precipitated with ethyl ether. Fifty milligrams of primary amine CBZ protected PEI is dissolved in methylene chloride, 10 mg of cholesterol chloroformate is added, and the solution is stirred for 12 hours on ice. The product CBZ protected lipopolymer, is precipitated with ethyl ether, washed with acetone, and then dissolved in DMF containing palladium activated carbon as a catalyst under H2 as a hydrogen donor. The mixture is stirred for 15 hours at room temperature, filtered through CELITE®, and the solution volume is reduced by a rotary evaporator. The final product is obtained from precipitation with ethyl ether.

    Preparation H



    [0073] Five hundred milligrams of NH2-PEG-COOH 3400 (0.15 mM) was dissolved in 5 ml of anhydrous chloroform at room temperature for 30 minutes. A solution of 676 mg of cholesterol chloroformate (1.5 mM) in 1 ml of anhydrous chloroform is slowly added to the PEG solution and then stirred for an additional 4 hrs at room temperature. The mixture is precipitated in 500 ml of ethyl ether on ice for 1 hr, and then washed three times with ethyl ether to remove the non-conjugated cholesterol. After drying with nitrogen purge, the powder is dissolved in 5 ml of 0.05N HCl for acidifying the carboxyl groups on the PEG. The material is dried by freeze drier. One hundred milligrams of PEI 1800 (0.056 mM), 50 mg of DCC, and 50 mg of NHS are dissolved in 5 ml of chloroform at room temperature, the mixture is stirred for 20 min, and then a solution of 380 mg of chol-PEG-COOH in 1 ml of chloroform is slowly added to the PEI solution. After stirring for six hours at room temperature, the organic solvent was removed with a rotary evaporator. The remaining material was dissolved in 10 ml of deionized water and purified by FPLC.

    Example 1


    Preparation of concentrated liquid formulations of condensed nucleic acid with a cationic lipopolymer



    [0074] This example illustrates preparation of highly concentrated formulations of fully condensed nucleic acid at bench-scale production. This involves preparation of nucleic acid complexes with a cationic polymer followed by lyophilization and reconstitution to isotonic solutions. The nucleic acid used is a plasmid DNA encoding for IL-12 or luciferase gene, and the polymer comprised a polyethylenimine (PEI) backbone covalently linked to polyethylene glycol (PEG) and cholesterol (Chol) (PEG-PEI-Chol or PPC). The molar ratio between PEG and PEI and between cholesterol and PEI is 0.5-10 and 0.1-10, respectively. First, the DNA and PPC solutions are separately prepared at 5 mg/ml in water for injection and subsequently diluted to 0.15 mg/ml (DNA) and 0.554 mg/ml (PPC) at 3% lactose. The DNA in lactose solution is added to the PPC in lactose solution using a micropipette to a nitrogen to phosphate ratio (N:P ratio) of 11:1, and the formulation is incubated for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow the complexes to form. The PPC/DNA complexes in 3% lactose are lyophilized using a FREEZONE freeze dry System from LABCONCO Corp. Kansas City, MO. 500 µl of prepared formulation is added to 2 ml borosilicate glass vials which were then lyophilized using a freeze drying program consisting of the following segments:
    1. 1) freezing segment (Ramp 0.25°C/min, hold at 34°C for 4 hrs),
    2. 2) primary drying segment (hold at 34°C for 24 hrs),
    3. 3) secondary drying segment (Ramp to 20°C and hold for 24 hrs), and
    4. 4) Ramp to 4°C at 0.25°C/min.


    [0075] The resultant lyophilized powder is reconstituted with water for injection to various concentrations ranging from 0.1 mg/ml to 20 mg/ml DNA. A typical batch of small-scale preparation amounted to 100-200 mg of fully formulated DNA.

    Example 1A



    [0076] A nucleic acid/cationic lipopolymer formulation is prepared essentially according to the procedure outlined above in Example 1 using a cationic lipopolymer and IL-12 nucleic acid at an N:P ratio of 11:1. The cationic lipopolymer has a PEG:PEI:Cholesterol molar ratio of about 2.5:1:0.6, and a molecular weight (as the free base) of about 3.54 kD. The resulting formulation containing lactose is lyophilized and can be reconstituted to nucleic acid concentrations of at least about 0.5 mg/ml without agglomeration of the nucleic acid or loss of significant transfection activity.

    Example 2


    Preparation of concentrated liquid formulations of condensed nucleic acid with a cationic lipopolymer



    [0077] This example illustrates a preparation of highly concentrated formulations of condensed nucleic acid, as is shown in FIG. 1. This protocol has produced over 6000 mg of fully formulated DNA (as compared to 100-200 mg DNA produced from the small-scale preparation described in Example 1) and can be expanded to even higher production amounts. The scaled-up method involved mixing of the bulk DNA and polymer solutions with a peristaltic pump achieving an online mixing scenario to form the complexes followed by freeze-drying cycles compatible for large load. Briefly, the DNA and PPC solutions are prepared at 0.3 mg/ml and 1.1 mg/ml in 3% lactose, respectively. The two components are combined at a constant flow rate using a peristaltic pump (WATSON MARLOW, SCI 400) with a 0.89 mm internal diameter of silicon tubing (WATSON MARLOW, Z982-0088) at a flow rate of 225 ± 25 ml/min. The two mixtures are joined by a polypropylene T-connector at the end of each tube. Mixing polymer and DNA solutions resulted in instant formation of nanoparticles. Forty milliliters of the formulated complexes are placed in 100 ml glass vials and lyophilized using a freeze-drying program consisting of the following segments:
    1. 1) pre-freeze at -50 C for up to 720 minutes,
    2. 2) primary drying at -40 C for up to 180 minutes and then at -34 C for up to 1980 minutes at 65 µm Hg, and
    3. 3) secondary drying at -25 C for up to 720 minutes, -15 C for up to 3180 minutes, -10 C for up to 1500 minutes, and 4 C for up to 1440 minutes at 65 µm Hg.


    [0078] The resultant lyophilized powder is reconstituted with water for injection to various concentrations ranging from 0.1 mg/ml to 20 mg/ml DNA. A typical batch of this scale amounts to 6000 mg of fully formulated DNA.

    Example 3


    Measurement of the particle size of concentrated liquid formulations of condensed nucleic acid with a cationic lipopolymer



    [0079] Highly concentrated formulations of plasmid DNA with cationic lipopolymer, PPC, are prepared as described in Examples 1 and 2. For polymer/nucleic acid particle size measurement, an aliquot of the liquid formulation is analyzed using 90PlusBI-MAS Particle Sizer from BROOKHAVEN INSTRUMENTS Corp., Holtsville, N.Y. Specifically, 50 µl of formulation is added to 950 µl of milli-Q water in polystyrene cuvets for analysis.

    [0080] Fig. 2 illustrates the particle size of DNA/PPC complexes in pre-lyophilized or non-concentrated formulations (0.15 mg/ml DNA) and after reconstitution at higher concentrations ranging from 0.5 mg/ml to 10 mg/ml with IL-12 plasmid (Fig. 2A) or luciferase plasmid (Fig. 2B). Reconstitution at higher concentrations does not significantly influence the particle size, which suggests that the complexes are stable.

    Example 4


    Analysis of the nucleic acid condensation of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with a cationic lipopolymer



    [0081] The ability of PPC polymer to condense plasmid DNA is evaluated in this example. Highly concentrated formulations of plasmid DNA with cationic lipopolymer, PPC, are prepared as described in Examples 1 and 2. The nucleic acid/polymer complexes are electrophoresed using 1% agarose gel. The electrostatic attraction of negatively charged plasmid DNA to the positively charged PPC polymer prevents the DNA from traveling through the agarose gel. As shown in Fig. 3, all of the DNA present in the highly concentrated formulations is condensed.

    Example 5


    Measurement of nucleic acid concentration in concentrated liquid formulation of nucleic acid with a cationic lipopolymer



    [0082] The amount of nucleic acid in highly concentrated formulations of DNA and PPC complexes are quantified using an AGILENT 8453 spectrophotometer (AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES, Inc. Santa Clara, CA). 50 µl of formulation is diluted with 950 µl water for injection (WFI) in a quartz cuvette and absorbance is measured using 260 nm wavelength. DNA concentration is determined assuming 1 Optical density (at 260 nm) = 50 µg/ml of DNA.

    Example 6


    Measurement of transfection activity of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with a cationic lipopolymer



    [0083] The transfection activity of highly concentrated formulations of DNA and PPC complexes is determined in vitro. Direct comparison is made to that of a non-concentrated formulation. Transfection complexes containing luciferase or IL-12 plasmid are prepared by methods described in Examples 1 and 2, and reconstituted at DNA concentrations ranging from 0.15 mg/ml to 10 mg/ml. Cos-1 cells (1.5x105 cell/well) are seeded into 12-well tissue culture plates in 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Each well is incubated for 6 hours with 4 µg of complexed DNA in absence of FBS in a total volume of 500 µl of Dulbecco/Vogt Modified Eagle's Minimal Essential Medium (DMEM). When the incubation period is concluded, medium is replaced with 1 ml fresh DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS for another 40 hours. At the end of the incubation period, transfection activity was measured in the cell culture medium (IL-12) or cell lysate (luciferase). For measurement of IL-12 levels, cell culture medium is directly analyzed by an IL-12 ELISA assay. For luciferase measurement, cells are washed with phosphate-buffered saline and lysed with TENT buffer (50 mM Tris-Cl [pH8.0] 2 Mm EDTA, 150 mM NaCl, 1% Triton X-100). Luciferase activity in the cell lysate is measured as relative light units (RLU) using an Orion Microplate Luminometer (BERTHOLD DETECTION SYSTEMS, Oak Ridge, TN). The final values of luciferase are reported in terms of RLU/ mg total protein. The total protein level is determined using a BCA protein assay kit (PIERCE BIOTECHNOLOGY, Inc., Rockford, IL). The levels of IL-12 and luciferase expression from highly concentrated formulations of IL-12 and luciferase plasmid/PPC complexes are shown in Fig. 4A and Fig. 4B, respectively. The data shows transfection activity of nucleic acid complexes in highly concentrated form is preserved.

    Example 7


    Evaluating various excipient sugars in the preparation of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with cationic lipopolymer and characterization thereof



    [0084] Two commonly used sugars, lactose and sucrose, are evaluated as potential bulking or filler agents during lyophilization process for the preparation of highly concentrated formulations. PPC/DNA complex are prepared in lactose and sucrose each at 3%, 1.5% and 0.3%. Formulations are lyophilized using protocol as in Example 1. Following the freeze-drying process, formulations are reconstituted with WFI to a final DNA concentration of 0.5 mg/ml, 1 mg/ml and 5 mg/ml. Particle size and in vitro gene transfer are evaluated for these various formulation. As shown in Table 1, both particle size and transfection activity is preserved whether the cryoprotectant filler is sucrose or lactose. These results show more than one type of sugar can be used to prepare physico-chemically and biologically stable high concentrations of nucleic acid with cationic polymer.
    Table 1
    Evaluation of excipient sugars in the preparation of concentrated isotonic formulations of nucleic acid with cationic polymer.
    Lactose (w/v)DNA (mg/m)Particle size (nm)Luc Expression (RLU/mg protein)
    Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.
    10.0% N/A 0.15 N/A 117.00 N/A 8,160.748  
    3.0% 10.0% 0.15 0.50 123.00 200.00   9,484,771.98
    1.5% 10.0% 0.15 1.0 121.00 135.00   7,492,002.47
    0.3% 10.0% 0.15 5.00 150.00 209.00   6,442,482.87
    Sucrose (w/v)DNA (mg/m)Particle size (nm)Luc Expression (RLU/mg protein)
    Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.Pre-Lyo.Post-Lyo.
    10.0% N/A 0.15 N/A 160.00 N/A 12,698,431  
    3.0% 10.0% 0.15 0.50 137.00 154.00   5,995,053
    1.5% 10.0% 0.15 1.00 125.00 206.00   8,004,970
    0.3% 10.0% 0.15 5.00 131.00 244.00   9,066,137

    Example 8


    IL-12 expression in normal brain parenchyma after intracranial expression of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with cationic lipopolymer



    [0085] Direct administration of IL-12 plasmid with cationic polymer, PPC, in normal brain tissue is examined to determine if highly concentrated formulation of nucleic acid and cationic lipopolymer is biologically active in vivo. Immunohistochemcial staining for IL-12 is performed on slices of brains from animals euthanized 14 days or 1 month after treatment. Brain parenchyma of animals treated with PPC alone did not show any IL-12 staining (Figure 5A). In contrast, brain parenchyma of mice injected with pmIL-12/PPC intracranially stained positive for IL-12 (Figure 5B). This experiment demonstrates biological activity of nucleic acid complexes with a cationic polymer is preserved during the concentration process. In addition, it can be concluded that the cytokine remains present for at least a month after injection. Moreover, the presence of this cytokine in the brains of animals that remained alive until euthanized suggests that the actual expression of IL-12 does not cause lethal toxicity in brain.

    Example 9


    Efficacy of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with cationic lipopolymer in a mouse glioma model



    [0086] The anticancer efficacy of highly concentrated formulations of fully complexed nucleic acid expressing IL-12 gene is examined in a mouse glioma model. Tumors are implanted in the cerebral cortex of mice by intracranial injection of 1 x 105 GL261 glioma cells together with the co-injection of 3 µl of IL-12/PPC complexes from highly concentrated formulation of 5 mg/ml IL-12 plasmid DNA. The animals are monitored for any sign of neurotoxicity and autopsied, when possible, to confirm that death is due to the intracranialtumour. Survival is plotted using a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. A single intracranial injection of pmIL-12/PPC complexes administered at 15 µg plasmid dose is well tolerated as no significant adverse effects are observed. A single injection of pmIL-12/PPC complexes at 15 µg plasmid dose produced a significant enhancement in animal survival (Fig. 6).

    Example 10


    Biological Activity of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with cationic lipopolymer in ovarian cancer patients



    [0087] The biological activity of highly concentrated formulation of fully condensed nucleic acid expressing IL-12 gene is examined in a patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. Four weekly intraperitoneal administrations of highly concentrated isotonic formulations of IL-12 plasmid and PPC in women with recurrent ovarian cancer produced significant levels of IFN-γ, a surrogate marker of IL-12, in peritoneal fluid of treated patients. The IFN-γ levels vary from 20 to 275 pg/ml peritoneal fluid. These data demonstrates that the highly concentrated formulation of IL-12 nucleic acid is suitable for clinical application.

    Example 11


    Evaluating the effect of chemical composition of cationic polymer on the properties of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with cationic lipopolymer



    [0088] Previous attempts have demonstrated that concentrating nucleic acid formulations with cationic gene carriers such as lipid or polymers is highly challenging due to poor stability and loss of transfection as a result of the concentration process. To determine if the success in producing physico-chemically and biologically stable high concentrations of fully condensed nucleic acid is unique to the chemical composition of the test cationic polymer, PEG-PEI-Cholesterol (PPC), other cationic polymers are tested, including that of free PEI, PEI linked to cholesterol or PEI linked to PEG and a cationic liposome DOTAP. DNA complexes are prepared at 0.15 mg/ml and then concentrated to 0.5 and 5 mg/ml as described in Example 1. Particle size and transfection activity is determined as described in Example 3 & 6. As shown in FIGs. 7 and 8, DNA complexes prepared with free PEI (PEI1800, PEI15000, PEI 25000) or PEI-Cholesterol, PEI-PEG or cationic lipid DOTAP did not produce stable complexes as these complexes aggregated and lost transfection activity after lyophilization and reconstitution to 0.5 mg/ml or 5 mg/ml. The destabilizing effects are more prominent at 5 mg/ml than at 0.5 mg/ml. In comparison, DNA complexes prepared with PEG-PEI-cholesterol (PPC) maintain their physico-chemical and transfection properties during lyophilization and reconstitution at high DNA concentrations (Fig. 7 & 8). These results suggest covalent modification of cationic polymer with cholesterol and PEG is critical to activity preservation during the concentration process.

    Example 12


    Long-term stability of the lyophilized or concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with cationic polymer



    [0089] Large scale lots of lyophilized IL-12/PPC complexes are prepared under cGMP with the method outlined in Example 2 and stored at -80°C, -20°C, 4°C, and 25°C (60% RH) for stability evaluation. At the time of analysis, vials are removed from storage and 2.4 mL of WFI is added. For each sample pH, DNA concentration, osmolality, particle size and biological activity measured. As shown in Figure 9, the DNA concentration, pH, osmolality and particle size of the IL-12/PPC complexes are maintained during the two-year storage at the indicated temperatures. The gene transfer activity of pIL-12/PPC is quantified in COS-1 cells as described in Example 6. The COS-1 cells are transfected with the biological material at 4 µg DNA. The levels of IL-12 in cell culture media are quantified 48 hours after the transfection with a commercially available ELISA kit. The bioactivity results from the two-year stability study are illustrated in Figure 9. There is no significant change in bioactivity of the biological product during the storage period at -80°C or -20°C. At time 0, the activity is 151 ± 130 pg/mL and the rest of the data fluctuates within this standard deviation, except for 25°C where there is a consistent decline over time. At 4 C a drop in transfection activity is observed at 360 days but due to insufficient samples no follow up time points are available to reach a conclusive assessment.

    Example 13


    Stability of the reconstituted material of concentrated liquid formulations of nucleic acid with cationic polymer



    [0090] The stability of reconstituted material is examined in a separate study. Lyophilized IL-12 plasmid DNA/PPC complexes are prepared according to the method described in Example 2, and reconstituted in water for injection to 0.5 mg/ml. The reconstituted material is stored at 4 °C. Samples are removed on day 60 and 90 and analyzed for particle size, osmolality, and gene expression. The lyophilized product stored in sealed vials at -80 °C is analyzed simultaneously for comparison. As shown in Table 2, the reconstituted EGEN-001 is stable at 4 °C for at least 90 days after reconstitution with WFI. None of the stability parameters including DNA concentration, particle size, osmolality or gene expression is significantly altered when compared to the lyophilized material stored in sealed vials at -80 °C.
    Table 2
    Long-term stability of the reconstituted form of highly concentrated and fully condensed isotonic formulations of nucleic acid with cationic polymer at 4 C.
    Stability ParametersDays
     06090180270365
    Particle size (nm) 102 98 101 97 103 98
    Osmolarity (mOsmole) 303 309 303 312 312 306
    pH 2.75 2.66 2.69 2.7 2.73 2.59
    DNA (mg/ml) 0.49 0.49 0.50 0.47 0.50 0.50
    IIL-12 Expression (pg/ml) 1220 1681 1164 1062 1409 476.3

    Example 14


    Preparation of highly concentrated stable DNA formulations of synthetic nucleic acid delivery systems by co-formulating with PEG-PEI-Cholesterol.



    [0091] PEG-PEI-Cholesterol is added to existing, synthetic nucleic acid delivery systems to enhance the stability of nucleic acid formulations that are generally unstable at high nucleic acid concentrations.

    [0092] In one example, PEG-PEI-Cholesterol is added to DNA formulations prepared with linear polyethylenimine 25 kDa (LPEI25kD). DNA formulations at 0.15 mg/ml concentration can be prepared with LPEI25kD at 10:1 (N:P ratio) in presence of 3% lactose. PEG-PEI-Cholesterol lipopolymer may then be added to LPE125kD/DNA complex at various PPC ratios to formulated DNA. For example, PPC/DNA (N:P ratios) can be (0:1), (1:1), (5:1), (7.5:1), (11:1), (15:1), and (20:1). 500 µl of each formulation can be added to 2 ml of borosilicate glass vials and then lyophilized in a freeze dry system. The freeze drying program consists of the following segments:
    1. 1) Freezing segment (Ramp 0.25°C/min, hold at -34°C for 4 hrs),
    2. 2) Primary drying segment (hold at -34°C for 24 hrs),
    3. 3) Secondary drying segment (Ramp to -20°C and hold for 24 hrs), and
    4. 4) Ramp to 4°C at 0.25°C/min.


    [0093] The lyophilized formulations may be reconstituted with water for injection to 0.5 mg/ml or other suitable concentration.

    [0094] It is to be understood that the above-described compositions and modes of application are only illustrative of preferred embodiments of the invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art
    and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the invention has been described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made.


    Claims

    1. A composition comprising:

    (a) a mixture of a cationic lipopolymer and at least 0.5 mg/ml of a nucleic acid suspended in an aqueous solution, where
    the cationic lipopolymer comprises a polyethyleneimine (PEI) backbone covalently linked independently to cholesterol and polyethylene glycol groups, and the cholesterol to polyethyleneimine backbone molar ratio is from 0.1 to 10, and the polyethylene glycol to polyethyleneimine backbone molar ratio is from 0.1 to 10; and

    (b) a filler excipient.


     
    2. A composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the composition comprises condensed nucleic acid.
     
    3. A composition as claimed in claim 1or claim 2, wherein the molar ratio of amine nitrogen in the polyethyleneimine backbone to phosphate in the nucleic acid is from 0.1:1 to 100:1.
     
    4. A composition as claimed in any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the nucleic acid is a plasmid encoding for a peptide selected from the group consisting of interleukin-2, interleukin-4, interleukin-7, interleukin-12, interleukin-15, interferon-α, interferon-β, interferon-γ, colony stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, angiogenic agents, clotting factors, hypoglycemic agents, apoptosis factors, anti-angiogenic agents, thymidine kinase, p53, IP10, p16, TNF-α, Fas-ligand, tumor antigens, neuropeptides, viral antigens, bacterial antigens, and combinations thereof.
     
    5. A composition as claimed in any preceding claim 1, wherein a molar ratio of polyethylene glycol to polyethyleneimine backbone in the cationic lipopolymer is within a range of from 1 to 10.
     
    6. A composition as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the filler excipient is a member selected from the group consisting of sugars, sugar alcohols, starches, celluloses, and combinations thereof.
     
    7. A composition as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the nucleic acid is a plasmid encoding for interleukin-12 gene.
     
    8. A composition as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein at least some of the nucleic acid forms a complex and is condensed with the cationic lipopolymer suspended in aqueous medium.
     
    9. A composition as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the PEG:PEI:Cholesterol molar ratio in the cationic lipopolymer is within the range of 2-3:1:0.25-1.
     
    10. A composition as claimed in any preceding claim 1, wherein at least 30% by weight of the nucleic acid is condensed.
     
    11. A composition as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the ratio of amine nitrogen in the polyethyleneimine backbone to phosphate in the nucleic acid is from 11:1 to 20:1.
     
    12. A method of making a pharmaceutical composition comprising at least 0.5 mg/ml of a nucleic acid suspended in an isotonic solution, the method comprising:

    combining a nucleic acid, a cationic lipopolymer, and a filler excipient in an aqueous medium, the cationic lipopolymer comprising a polyethyleneimine covalently linked independently to cholesterol and polyethylene glycol groups, and the cholesterol to polyethyleneimine backbone molar ratio is from 0.1 to 10, and the polyethylene glycol to polyethyleneimine backbone molar ratio is from 0.1 to 10;

    lyophilizing the mixture to a powder; and

    reconstituting the powder with a diluent to form a solution including at least 0.5 mg/ml condensed nucleic acid in an isotonic solution.


     
    13. A composition as claimed in any of claims 1 to 11, wherein the composition is a dry pharmaceutical composition.
     
    14. A composition of any of claims 1 to 11 or 13 for use in the treatment of diseases and/or disorders, wherein for example various cells or tissues are transfected.
     
    15. A composition for the use as claimed in claim 14 wherein the composition is delivered into a warm blooded organism and, wherein the cell is localized in a tissue selected from the group consisting of ovary, uterus, stomach, colon, rectum, bone, blood, intestine, pancreas, breast, head, neck, lungs, spleen, liver, kidney, brain, thyroid, prostate, urinary bladder, thyroid, skin, abdominal cavity, thoracic cavity, and combinations thereof.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Zusammensetzung, die folgendes umfasst:

    (a) ein Gemisch aus einem kationischen Lipopolymer und wenigstens 0,5 mg/ml einer in einer wässrigen Lösung suspendierten Nukleinsäure, wobei
    das kationische Lipopolymer eine Polyethylenimin(PEI)-Hauptkette umfasst, die kovalent unabhängig gebunden ist an Cholesterin und Polyethylenglykolgruppen, und wobei das Molverhältnis von Cholesterin zu der Polyethylenimin-Hauptkette zwischen 0,1 und 10 liegt, und wobei das Molverhältnis von Polyethylenglykol zu der Polyethylenimin-Hauptkette zwischen 0,1 und 10 liegt; und

    (b) einen Füllerhilfsstoff.


     
    2. Zusammensetzung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Zusammensetzung kondensierte Nukleinsäure umfasst.
     
    3. Zusammensetzung nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, wobei das Molverhältnis von Aminstickstoff in der Polyethylenimin-Hauptkette zu Phosphat in der Nukleinsäure zwischen 0,1 : 1 und 100 : 1 liegt.
     
    4. Zusammensetzung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wo ei die Nukleinsäure ein Plasmid ist, das für ein Peptid codiert, das ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Interleukin-2, Interleukin-4, Interleukin-7, Interleukin-12, Interleukin-15, Interferon-α, Interferon-β, Interferon-γ, Kolonie-stimulierender Faktor, Granulozyten-Monozyten-Kolonie-stimulierender Faktor, angionen Substanzen, Gerinnungsfaktoren, hypoglykämischen Substanzen, Apoptosefaktoren, Anti-angiogenen Substanzen, Thymidinkinase, p53, IP10, p16, TNF-α, Fas-Ligand, Tumorantigenen, Neuropeptiden, viralen Antigenen, bakteriellen Antigenen und Kombinationen davon.
     
    5. Zusammensetzung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei ein Molverhältnis von Polyethylenglykol zu der Polyethylenimin-Hauptkette in dem kationischen Lipopolymer im Bereich von 1 bis 10 liegt.
     
    6. Zusammensetzung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der FüllerHilfsstoff ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Zucker, Zuckeralkoholen, Stärken, Zellulosen und Kombinationen davon.
     
    7. Zusammensetzung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Nukleinsäure ein für Interleukin-12-Gen codierendes Plasmid ist.
     
    8. Zusammensetzung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei wenigstens ein Teil der Nukleinsäuren einen Komplex bildet und kondensiert ist mit dem in dem wässrigen Medium suspendierten kationischen Lipopolymer.
     
    9. Zusammensetzung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das PEG:PEI:Cholesterin-Molverhältnis in dem kationischen Lipopolymer im Bereich von 2-3:10,25-1 liegt.
     
    10. Zusammensetzung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei wenigstens 30 Gew.-% der Nukleinsäure kondensiert sind.
     
    11. Zusammensetzung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Verhältnis von Aminstickstoff in der Polyethylenimin-Hauptkette zu Phosphat in der Nukleinsäure zwischen 11:1 und 20:1 liegt.
     
    12. Verfahren zur Herstellung einer pharmazeutischen Zusammensetzung, die wenigstens 0,5 mg/ml Nukleinsäure, suspendiert in einer isotonischen Lösung umfasst, wobei das Verfahren folgendes umfasst:

    Kombinieren einer Nukleinsäure, eines kationischen Lipopolymers und eines Füller-Hilfsstoffs in einem wässrigen Medium, wobei das kationische Lipopolymer Polyethylenimin umfasst, das unabhängig kovalent gebunden ist an Cholesterin und Polyethylenglykolgruppen, und wobei das Molverhältnis von Cholesterin zu der Polyethylenimin-Hauptkette zwischen 0,1 und 10 liegt, und wobei das Molverhältnis von Polyethylenglykol zu der Polyethylenimin-Hauptkette zwischen 0,1 und 10 liegt;

    Lyophilisieren des Gemischs zu einem Pulver; und

    Wiederherstellen des Pulvers mit einem Verdünner, um eine Lösung zu bilden, die wenigstens 0,5 mg/ml kondensierte Nukleinsäure in einer isotonischen Lösung umfasst.


     
    13. Zusammensetzung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 11, wobei die Zusammensetzung eine trockene pharmazeutische Zusammensetzung ist.
     
    14. Zusammensetzung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 11 oder 13 zur Verwendung in der Behandlung von Erkrankungen und/oder Krankheitszuständen, wobei zum Beispiel verschiedene Zellen oder Gewebe transfiziert sind.
     
    15. Zusammensetzung zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 14, wobei die Zusammensetzung in einen warmblütigen Organismus verabreicht wird, und wobei sich die Zelle in einem Gewebe befindet, das ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Eierstock, Uterus, Bauch, Kolon, Rektum, Knochen, Blut, Darm, Bauchspeicheldrüse, Brust, Kopf, Lungen, Milz, Leber, Niere, Gehirn, Schilddrüse, Prostata, Harnblase, Haut, Bauchhöhle, Brusthöhle und Kombinationen davon.
     


    Revendications

    1. Composition comprenant :

    (a) un mélange d'un lipopolymère cationique et d'au moins 0,5 mg/mL d'un acide nucléique suspendu en solution aqueuse, où le lipopolymère cationique comprend un squelette polyéthylèneimine (PEI) lié de manière covalente indépendamment à des groupes cholestérol et polyéthylène glycol, et le rapport molaire du cholestérol sur le squelette polyéthylèneimine est compris entre 0,1 et 10, et le rapport molaire du polyéthylène glycol sur le squelette polyéthylèneimine est compris entre 0,1 et 10 ; et

    (b) un excipient de charge.


     
    2. Composition selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la composition comprend un acide nucléique condensé.
     
    3. Composition selon la revendication 1 ou la revendication 2, dans laquelle le rapport molaire de l'azote amine dans le squelette polyéthylèneimine sur le phosphate dans l'acide nucléique est compris entre 0,1 : 1 et 100 : 1.
     
    4. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans laquelle l'acide nucléique est un plasmide encodant pour un peptide choisi parmi le groupe constitué de l'interleukine-2, de l'interleukine-4, de l'interleukine-7, de l'interleukine-12, de l'interleukine-15, de l'interféron-α, de l'interféron-β, de l'interféron-γ, du facteur stimulant des colonies, du facteur stimulant des colonies de granulocytes-macrophages, des agents angiogéniques, des facteurs de coagulation, des facteurs hypoglycémiques, des facteurs de l'apoptose, des agents anti-angiogènes, de la thymidine kinase, p53, IP10, p16, TNF-α, du ligand Fas, des antigènes tumoraux, des neuropeptides, des antigènes viraux, des antigènes bactériens et des combinaisons de ceux-ci.
     
    5. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle un rapport molaire du polyéthylène glycol sur le squelette polyéthylèneimine dans le lipopolymère cationique est dans la gamme comprise entre 1 et 10.
     
    6. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle l'excipient de charge est un nombre choisi parmi le groupe constitué des sucres, des alcools de sucre, des amidons, des celluloses et des combinaisons de ceux-ci.
     
    7. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle l'acide nucléique est un plasmide encodant pour le gène de l'interleukine-12.
     
    8. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle au moins certaines des formes d'acide nucléique forme un complexe et est condensé avec le lipopolymère cationique suspendu en milieu aqueux.
     
    9. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle le rapport molaire PEG : PEI: Cholestérol dans le lipopolymère cationique est dans la gamme de 2-3 : 1 : 0,25-1.
     
    10. Composition selon l'une quelconque de la revendication 1, dans laquelle au moins 30% en poids de l'acide nucléique est condensé.
     
    11. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle le rapport de l'azote amine dans le squelette polyéthylèneimine sur le phosphate dans l'acide nucléique est compris entre 11 : 1 et 20 : 1.
     
    12. Procédé de fabrication d'une composition pharmaceutique comprenant au moins 0,5 mg/mL d'un acide nucléique suspendu en solution isotonique, le procédé consistant à :

    combiner un acide nucléique, un lipopolymère cationique, et un excipient de charge dans un milieu aqueux, le lipopolymère cationique comprenant un polyéthylèneimine lie de manière covalente indépendamment à des groupes cholestérol et polyéthylène glycol, et le rapport molaire du cholestérol sur le squelette polyéthylèneimine est compris entre 0,1 et 10, et le rapport molaire du polyéthylène glycol sur le squelette polyéthylèneimine est compris entre 0,1 et 10 ;

    lyophiliser le mélange en une poudre ; et

    reconstituer la poudre avec un diluant pour former une solution incluant au moins 0,5 mg/mL d'acide nucléique condensé dans une solution isotonique.


     
    13. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 11, selon laquelle la composition est une composition pharmaceutique sèche.
     
    14. Composition selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 11 ou 13, pour une utilisation dans le traitement de maladies et/ou troubles, dans laquelle par exemple de nombreuses cellules ou de nombreux sont infectés.
     
    15. Composition selon la revendication 14, dans laquelle la cellule est localisée dans un tissu choisi parmi le groupe constitué des ovaires, de l'utérus, de l'estomac, du colon, du rectum, de l'os, du sang, de l'intestin, du pancréas, du sein, de la tête, du cou, des poumons, de la rate, du foie, du rein, du cerveau, de la thyroïde, de la prostate, de la vessie urinaire, de la thyroïde, de la peau, de la cavité abdominale, de la cavité thoracique, et des combinaisons de ceux-ci.
     




    Drawing





















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description