Royal Philips Electronics and RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation have entered into a joint research agreement to explore the benefits of the targeted delivery of experimental therapeutics based on RNA interference (RNAi).

According to the companies, compounds based on RNAi represent a promising new class of drugs for the targeted treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In preclinical studies, the companies will explore the possibility of using RXi’s self-delivering rxRNA in conjunction with Philips’ ultrasound technology to achieve the targeted delivery and monitoring of RNAi-based compounds in cells.

RNAi technology is being hailed as a breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off with the potential to target the cause of specific diseases by silencing harmful genes and preventing the production of disease-causing proteins.