Empty (devoid of RNA) viruslike particles (eVLPs) of Cowpea mosaic virus can now be obtained readily. CPMV can encapsulate, within the protein capsid, cobalt or iron oxide by environmentally benign processes. The external surface also remains amenable to chemical modification. The development of eVLPs for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents is now a reality.
Tobacco mosaic virus is like a 18-nanometer wide straw, which can hold gene silencing RNA.
“The speed with which you develop siRNA drugs is truly amazing,” said Stephen Hyde. “In the past, a traditional small molecule drug might take several years of intensive research effort by a large team of scientists to develop. Today, with siRNA technology, it is possible for a single researcher to develop a drug candidate in a few weeks.”