Mirrx Therapeutics Secures Seed Financing for Development of microRNA- blocking Technology
News Feb 09, 2010
Mirrx Therapeutics has announced that it has closed on a seed financing round that will enable the company to achieve in vivo proof of concept for its microRNA-blocking “Blockmir” technology, as well as to strengthen its intellectual property portfolio.
Blockmirs are antisense oligonucleotides that bind to a microRNA binding site on an mRNA, blocking specific unwanted microRNA:mRNA interactions without interfering with normal cellular function. SEED Capital, Inventure Capital and Vecata Invest participated in the financing round.
Explaining the rationale for the company's novel approach to targeting microRNA pathways, founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Thorleif Moller said, "Targeting microRNAs directly with antisense molecules affects the activity of many genes, since microRNAs control the activity of many target mRNAs. Avoiding these unintended effects, our approach blocks single microRNA:mRNA interactions with Blockmirs. Because Blockmirs bind to a microRNA binding site on an mRNA, they prevent the microRNA from regulating only that specific mRNA, while still allowing the microRNA to control the rest of its target mRNAs.”
Ole Bitsch Jensen, Investment Manager at SEED Capital, commented, “We are very excited about the investment opportunity presented by Mirrx, because the company offers a new approach for indirectly modulating microRNA through blocking the microRNA target, and has built an impressive intellectual property position for this technology. The ‘Blockmir’ approach may have dramatic implications for the microRNA field, due to its potential for achieving a more targeted and predictable effect, with potentially reduced risk of unintended effects on gene activity.”
Back in 2009, researchers identified a herd of Awassi sheep suffering from "day blindness". As that term implies, these sheep were blind during the day (in bright light) but could see at night, in low-light conditions. After identifying the genetic basis of this blindness, researchers have now successfully used gene therapy to restore their daytime vision.READ MORE