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Altamira Therapeutics’ SemaPhore RNA Delivery Platform Drives Effective Treatment of Osteoarthritis with mRNA in Animal Model

  • Data to be presented at Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress in Denver March 17-20, 2023
  • Animal study shows effective attenuation of osteoarthritis progression and functional improvement in mice treated with DNMT3B mRNA nanoparticles based on Altamira's SemaPhore™ delivery technology

HAMILTON, BERMUDA / ACCESSWIRE / March 15, 2023 / Altamira Therapeutics ("Altamira" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:CYTO), a company dedicated to developing RNA-based therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs, today announced the upcoming presentation of animal data generated by a leading US-based osteoarthritis research group. The data show effective attenuation of osteoarthritis progression through treatment with an mRNA therapeutic, delivered in nanoparticles based on the Company's SemaPhore™ delivery platform.[1]

The data will be presented in a late-breaking poster at the 2023 Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) World Congress in Denver CO.

The research group from the Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO), and University of South Florida (Tampa, FL) tested the delivery of DNA-methyltransferase 3 beta (DNMT3B) mRNA with Altamira's peptide-based SemaPhore nanoparticles to boost DNMT3B expression in a mouse model of meniscal injury. DNMT3B is a protein coding gene which provides instructions for the making of the DNMT3B enzyme which plays a key role in the homeostasis and metabolism of chondrocytes (the cells responsible for cartilage formation). Previous studies have suggested that a deficiency in DNMT3B accelerates joint degeneration and may trigger osteoarthritis.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees. With OA, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time. OA can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. In some cases, it also causes reduced function and disability. CDC estimates that OA affects over 32.5 million US adults; its prevalence is increasing steadily due to the aging population and rising obesity.

The research group treated mice with meniscal injury by local (intra-articular) administration of DNMT3B mRNA nanoparticles or controls once every 2 weeks for 12 weeks. Active treatment resulted in strong induction of DNMT3B protein as well as significantly reduced bone sclerosis, cartilage degeneration, and synovitis (inflammation of the connective tissue lining the inside of a joint capsule). Functional studies showed significantly decreased pain sensitivity and improved weight bearing in active treated mice compared to controls. The research group concluded: "Overall, these findings suggest that DNMT3B mRNA delivery with peptide-based nanoparticles could be a viable treatment to reverse/mitigate OA disease."

Samuel Wickline, M.D., Altamira's Chief Scientific Adviser and a co-author of the study, commented: "As of today, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, and current treatment options are mostly limited to increased physical activity, weight loss or intake of pain-relieving medication. RNA therapeutics targeting the progression of OA may provide disease-modifying effects. The latest results obtained with our SemaPhore nanoparticles appear very promising and further demonstrate the delivery technology's versatility, and great performance and tolerability under inflammatory conditions."


The Osteoarthritis Research Society International is the leading medical society for advancing the understanding, early detection, treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis (OA) through its exclusive dedication to research. OARSI's passion and area of focus is on OA, a debilitating disease affecting more than 600 million people around the world. With more than 30 years of experience serving the OA community, OARSI provides the necessary framework, expert resources and support for its international constituents to address the challenges of OA so that the knowledge gained can ultimately be used to help improve patient care and patient outcomes. For more info, please visit:

About SemaPhore

SemaPhore is a versatile platform for safe and effective delivery of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) into target cells. It is based on a patented 21-amino acid peptide that can engage any type of RNA in rapid self-assembly into a polyplex. The polyplex has a size, charge, and other physical features that allow it to escape hepatic clearance and thus to reach other target tissues than the liver. SemaPhore protects the RNA payload from degradation in the circulation and allows for rapid cellular uptake, while enabling pH-dependent nucleotide endosomal escape and cytoplasmic delivery. Effective delivery of mRNA and positive treatment outcomes have been demonstrated in various murine models of disease, including osteoarthritis (WNT16), atherosclerosis (p27Kip1) and aortic aneurysm (SOD2).

About Altamira Therapeutics

Altamira Therapeutics (Nasdaq:CYTO) is dedicated to developing RNA-based therapeutics for extrahepatic targets (OligoPhore™ / SemaPhore™ delivery platforms). The Company currently has two flagship siRNA programs in preclinical development beyond in vivo proof of concept: AM-401 for KRAS driven cancer and AM-411 for rheumatoid arthritis. The versatile delivery platform is also suited for mRNA and other types of RNA therapeutics and shall be leveraged via out-licensing to pharma or biotech companies. In addition, Altamira is in the process of divesting and/or licensing-out its legacy assets in allergology and viral infection (Bentrio® OTC nasal spray; commercial) and inner ear therapeutics (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

This press release may contain statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical facts and may include statements that address future operating, financial or business performance or Altamira Therapeutics' strategies or expectations. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as "may", "might", "will", "should", "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "predicts", "projects", "potential", "outlook" or "continue", or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the success of the continued commercialization of Bentrio and success of strategic transactions, including licensing or partnering, with respect to Bentrio or any other legacy assets, Altamira Therapeutics' need for and ability to raise substantial additional funding to continue the development of its product candidates, the timing and conduct of clinical trials of Altamira Therapeutics' product candidates, the clinical utility of Altamira Therapeutics' product candidates, the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals, Altamira Therapeutics' intellectual property position and Altamira Therapeutics' financial position, including the impact of any future acquisitions, dispositions, partnerships, license transactions or changes to Altamira Therapeutics' capital structure, including future securities offerings. These risks and uncertainties also include, but are not limited to, those described under the caption "Risk Factors" in Altamira Therapeutics' Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2021, and in Altamira Therapeutics' other filings with the SEC, which are available free of charge on the Securities Exchange Commission's website at: Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated. All forward-looking statements and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Altamira Therapeutics or to persons acting on behalf of Altamira Therapeutics are expressly qualified in their entirety by reference to these risks and uncertainties. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Altamira Therapeutics does not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable law.


[1] Kucharski A. et al., Nanoparticle based DNMT3B gene therapy attenuates arthritis progression in a murine injury model, poster 500.

SOURCE: Altamira Therapeutics Ltd.

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