U.K.-based RNA interference (RNAi) company Silence Therapeutics has gone Down Under to sign a deal with Australian company MiReven. The collaboration, Silence's fourth, will look to combine Silence's delivery systems with MiReven's miRNA-based therapeutics.
RNAi delivery is a hot topic at the moment for biotech and Big Pharma. Other Silence deals include one with Mirna Therapeutics in cancer and another with an undisclosed top 10 pharma company, delivering RNAi therapy to the lung.
In return for an undisclosed fee, Silence will formulate MiReven's miR-7 mimetic (a potentially therapeutic mimic of the miR-7 molecule) using its AtuPLEX, DACC and DBTC lipid-based delivery systems, and evaluate the potential therapeutic in vitro and in vivo. AtuPLEX delivers RNAi therapeutics to the vascular system; DACC targets the pulmonary system; and DBTC targets the liver. MiR-7 targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a biomarker with links to chemotherapy resistance, cancer progression and poor outcomes.
MiReven has also snagged half a million dollars in investment from the Medical Research Commercialization Fund (MRCF) to support two international collaborations--and this is No. 1. Stephen Thompson of MiReven said: "MiReven's founding scientists have developed a compelling body of preclinical data supporting the potential of miR-7 to suppress tumor growth, particularly in the many cancers known to be controlled by the EGF receptor signaling pathway including glioblastoma. MiReven is currently testing drug-like versions of miR-7 in key models of human cancer."
Singer Capital Markets analyst Shawn Manning said to proactiveinvestors Australia: "We reiterate our upbeat view of [Silence Therapeutics'] stock, and note that with new financing in place and new management at the helm Silence is now well positioned to attempt to crystallize the inherent value in its potentially 'game changing' RNA-based technology."
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