Thursday, September 6, 2007

Breaking News: Alnylam and ISIS Form microRNA Joint Venture Regulus Therapeutics

In a breathtaking development, Alnylam and ISIS Pharmaceuticals announced tonight the formation of Regulus Therapeutics, a company solely focussed on the development of microRNA therapeutics. MicroRNAs are the endogenous counterparts of siRNAs used in RNAi Therapeutics and play key roles in gene regulation. Only 6 years after their discovery in humans, they have already been implicated in a number of diseases, and both microRNA inhibition and activation shows great promise in the treatment of cancer, viral and metabolic diseases and beyond.

Regulus Therapeutics, located in Carlsbad, California, near ISIS’ headquarters, combines Alnylam’s leading microRNA target IP estate (Tuschl III and siRNAs and microRNA mimics) with ISIS’ antisense and nucleic acid modification capabilities. This clearly creates the industry’s leading effort in microRNA-based drug development guided by a stunning line-up of leading scientists in microRNA research and gene regulation. As a pure play, Regulus Therapeutics should be ideally positioned to build on its existing assets in microRNAs. It further allows Alnylam management to concentrate on the development of RNAi Therapeutics while capitalising on their early IP in microRNAs.

Rosetta Genomics and Asuragen are the only two other notable microRNA-based companies left with ambitions both in diagnostics and therapeutics. It will be interesting how today’s announcement affects these two companies, particularly Rosetta’s existing significant relationship with ISIS. At the very least, it will help microRNAs get the attention of Wall Street and Big Pharma.

No comments:

By Dirk Haussecker. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This blog is not intended for distribution to or use by any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of, or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would subject the author or any of his collaborators and contributors to any registration or licensing requirement within such jurisdiction. This blog expresses only my opinions, they may be flawed and are for entertainment purposes only. Opinions expressed are a direct result of information which may or may not be accurate, and I do not assume any responsibility for material errors or to provide updates should circumstances change. Opinions expressed in this blog may have been disseminated before to others. This blog should not be taken as investment, legal or tax advice. The investments referred to herein may not be suitable for you. Investments particularly in the field of RNAi Therapeutics and biotechnology carry a high risk of total loss. You, the reader must make your own investment decisions in consultation with your professional advisors in light of your specific circumstances. I reserve the right to buy, sell, or short any security including those that may or may not be discussed on my blog.