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Altamira Therapeutics’ Peptide-Based Delivery Platform Shown to Enhance Potency of Commonly Used Gene Delivery Method as Published in Peer-Reviewed Journal

February 7, 2024


  • Independent peer-reviewed study shows enhanced cell transduction with adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, commonly used in gene therapy, when integrating Altamira’s peptide-based delivery technology


  • Increased potency may help to reduce AAV immunogenicity and resistance to AAVs in certain cell types 

HAMILTON, BERMUDA, Feb. 7, 2024 -- Altamira Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq: CYTO) ("Altamira" or the "Company"), a company providing nanoparticle-based technology for efficient RNA delivery to extrahepatic targets, announced today the publication of a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Integrative Medicine titled, "Melittin analog p5RHH enhances recombinant adeno-associated virus transduction efficiency". This work evaluates the use of various peptides to enhance adeno-associated virus (AAV) cell transduction and was conducted by an independent research group.1 Recombinant AAVs are commonly used as carriers to introduce nucleic acids in cells for gene therapy; several AAV-based gene therapy drugs have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The study sought to find ways of increasing the endosomal release of AAV-based therapeutics by using peptides derived from melittin, a component of bee venom known for its ability to permeabilize biological membranes. The research group evaluated 76 melittin derivatives, including p5RHH, the peptide underlying Altamira’s OligoPhore™ / SemaPhore™ nanoparticle platform for RNA delivery. The scientists discovered that insertion of p5RHH into the AAV vector (p5RHH-rAAV) not only enhanced cell transduction, but also succeeded in transducing cell lines typically considered resistant to AAVs. Further, an in vivo study in mice showed that the addition of p5RHH to the AAV capsid of several AAV serotypes significantly enhanced liver transduction compared to non-modified AAV vectors, observed up to the last time point four weeks after systemic administration.

“The study results once again highlight the strong capability of our technology to promote the release of nucleic acids from the endosome into the cytoplasm, which has remained a key limiting factor for both non-viral vectors and viral-derived delivery vehicles such as AAVs,” commented Covadonga Pañeda, Ph.D., Altamira Therapeutics’ Chief Operating Officer. “Better transduction efficiency means that lower doses of AAVs may be used, which could lower the risk for deleterious immune responses and increase the safety of AAV-based vectors. In addition, the integration of the p5RHH peptide into different serotypes of AAV vectors may open new possibilities in AAV-based gene therapy in cells and tissues that are not typically amenable to AVV transduction.”

About Altamira Therapeutics

Altamira Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CYTO) is developing and supplying peptide-based nanoparticle technologies for efficient RNA delivery to extrahepatic tissues (OligoPhore™ / SemaPhore™ platforms). The Company currently has two flagship siRNA programs using its proprietary delivery technology: AM-401 for KRAS driven cancer and AM-411 for rheumatoid arthritis, both in preclinical development beyond in vivo proof of concept. The versatile delivery platform is also suited for mRNA and other RNA modalities and made available to pharma or biotech companies through out-licensing. In addition, Altamira holds a 49% stake (with additional economic rights) in its commercial-stage legacy asset Bentrio®, an OTC nasal spray for allergic rhinitis. Further, the Company is in the process of partnering / divesting its inner ear legacy assets (AM-125 nasal spray for vertigo; post Phase 2; Keyzilen® and Sonsuvi® for tinnitus and hearing loss; Phase 3). Founded in 2003, Altamira is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, with its main operations in Basel, Switzerland. For more information, visit:

Forward-Looking Statements

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1 Meng et al. (2024), Melittin analog p5RHH enhances recombinant adeno-associated virus transduction efficiency, J Integr Med, in press.

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