MicroRNA Research Consortium gains DKK 10 m grant for drug development  

2007.07.30
MicroRNA Research Consortium gains DKK 10 m for the development of a groundbreaking new microRNA-antagonist drug targeted against human microRNA
The Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (ATF) has granted DKK 10 m (USD 1.8 m) to a MicroRNA Research Consortium for the development of a groundbreaking new microRNA-antagonist drug. The consortium comprises Santaris Pharma, a Danish biopharmaceutical company focusing on drug development for the treatment of cancer, the Centre for Biological Sequence Analysis at the Technical University of Copenhagen, and the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen.
 
MicroRNAs are a newly discovered class of tiny regulatory molecules which appear to control many biological processes in cells. There is reportedly growing evidence that microRNAs are also associated with the onset and progression of many diseases. Santaris Pharma's new drug candidate, SPC3649, targets a particular liver-expressed microRNA called miR-122. The compound is being developed as a potential new drug for the treatment of hyperlipidaemia and Hepatitis C infection.
 
Sakari Kauppinen, Santaris Pharma's associate director of microRNA research says: "The entire field of molecular biology and medicine has been thrown wide open in recent years by the discovery of microRNAs. Santaris Pharma's LNA technology has unique advantages in developing breakthrough drugs acting on disease-associated microRNAs. We are delighted that the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation has recognised the scientific and commercial potential of our world leading position in this field. SPC3649 may well become the first microRNA antagonist drug to be tested in human trials."
 
Santaris Pharma was created in May 2003 through a merger between Cureon A/S and Pantheco A/S, two companies specialising in RNA antagonist technologies. The company is headquartered in Hørsholm Science Park near Copenhagen. In July 2006, Santaris Pharma entered a partnership with Enzon Pharmaceuticals of New Jersey to co-develop and commercialise a series of Santaris RNA antagonists for improving the treatment of cancer.
 
The news was reported on the websites of ATF and Santaris Pharma.
 
Link > Santaris Pharma  

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