RNA Interference (RNAi)-Based Therapeutics: Delivering on the Promise?

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2016;56:103-22. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010715-103633.


A resurgence in clinical trials using RNA interference (RNAi) occurred in 2012. Although there were initial difficulties in achieving efficacious results with RNAi without toxic side effects, advances in delivery and improved chemistry made this resurgence possible. More than 20 RNAi-based therapeutics are currently in clinical trials, and several of these are Phase III trials. Continued positive results from these trials have helped bolster further attempts to develop clinically relevant RNAi therapies. With a wide variety of disease targets to choose from, the first RNAi therapeutic to be clinically approved is not far off. This review covers recently established and completed clinical trials.

Keywords: clinical trials; dsiRNA; miRNA; shRNA; siRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • RNA Interference / physiology*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations