Rosetta Genomics in-Licenses MicroRNAs for Therapeutic use from Rockefeller University
News Jun 13, 2007
The addition of these viral and human microRNAs to the Company's existing intellectual property estate gives Rosetta Genomics access to over 500 proprietary microRNA drug targets. This vast portfolio covering a wide range of targets, coupled with Rosetta Genomics' know how in the field of microRNAs establishes the company as a key leader in the research and development of microRNA-based therapeutics and diagnostics.
MicroRNAs have been shown to hold tremendous potential as a new class of prospective drug targets with significant therapeutic opportunity. Rosetta Genomics' lead therapeutic development program for liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC), being conducted in collaboration with Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has so far identified four microRNAs that when inhibited in vitro lead to a decrease in liver cancer cell proliferation.
Human and viral microRNA targets are expected to play a role in the regulation of key disease processes in major therapeutic areas such as oncology, metabolism and infectious diseases. The liver cancer program at Rosetta Genomics is being funded in part by the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD).
"Rosetta Genomics intends to continue to expand what we believe to be the dominant intellectual property estate related to microRNA genes for diagnostic and therapeutic uses," said Amir Avniel, President and CEO of Rosetta Genomics.
"Our strategy is to supplement our in-house IP efforts through licensing agreements with key academic centers such as Rockefeller University. The proprietary human and viral microRNAs brought to us through this important relationship will provide us access to even more potential drug targets. We are encouraged with the preliminary in vitro results in our liver cancer program and see the addition of these microRNAs as essential to the development of a robust and broad therapeutic pipeline," Avniel added.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.