Paving the Road for RNA Therapeutics

Niels Dammes, Dan Peer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Therapeutic RNA molecules possess high potential for treating medical conditions if they can successfully reach the target cell upon administration. However, unmodified RNA molecules are rapidly degraded and cleared from the circulation. In addition, their large size and negative charge complicates their passing through the cell membrane. The difficulty of RNA therapy, therefore, lies in the efficient intracellular delivery of intact RNA molecules to the tissue of interest without inducing adverse effects. Here, we outline the recent developments in therapeutic RNA delivery and discuss the wide potential in manipulating the function of cells with RNAs. The focus is not only on the variety of delivery strategies but also on the versatile nature of RNA and its wide applicability. This wide applicability is especially interesting when considering the modular nature of nucleic acids. An optimal delivery vehicle, therefore, can facilitate numerous clinical applications of RNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-775
Number of pages21
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • RNA therapy
  • cell-specific targeting
  • drug delivery
  • nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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