At the OTS meeting, in a study from University College London, UK, Dr. Haiyan Zhou showed high specificity and efficacy of AUM LifeTech's FANA antisense technology for allele specific silencing in certain degenerative disorders of the nervous system (neurodegenerative disorders). This study for hereditary sensory neuropathy type 1 was done in collaboration with Dr. Francesco Muntoni. Dr. Muntoni is a Chair of Paediatric Neurology at University College London's Institute of Child Health and has lead several clinical trials for rare diseases. "We work on several neuromuscular genetic diseases affecting children with a focus on gene discovery and translational applications. The self-delivery aspect of AUM's FANA technology is very beneficial especially for RNA silencing and regulation studies. We see FANA RNA silencing and regulation technology as a great research tool with a huge potential to be used in pre-clinical and potentially in future clinical application across a wide spectrum of genetic diseases," commented Dr. Muntoni.
In another study done in collaboration with Dr. John Lewis, the Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research at the University of Alberta, Canada they regulated the progression of human cancer metastasis using FANA based antagomirs against a panel of miRNAs. Dr. Lian Willetts, the lead author from his group performed an in vivo whole human miRNAome screen for miRNAs that mediate key steps in metastasis. Dr. Lian identified miRNAs that regulate discrete but overlapping pathways that drive tumor cell invasion. The group showed that gymnotically delivered (self-delivered) FANA antigomirs targeted against miR130b reduced cancer cell motility and blocked cancer cell attachment to vascular walls in vivo. "Metastasis is what kills prostate cancer patients, and considering this new encouraging data I am excited about the possibility of using AUM's FANA antisense technology to learn more about the key pathways that regulate prostate cancer progression, and to develop new drugs to block the spread of prostate cancer," stated Dr. Lewis.
Dr. Masad Damha, who has worked extensively on the development of FANA chemistry, added, "FANA oligos serve as excellent tools for RNA silencing experiments and avoid the use of transfection reagents because of their self-delivery capability especially in difficult to transfect cells. They are non-toxic and highly potent. This helps save time and money which is especially beneficial for the biomedical research community." Dr. Damha is also the James McGill Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at McGill University in Canada.
Dr. Damha was also involved in another recent study with Dr. Jean-Christophe Leroux who is a full Professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The team showed a certain variation of FANA oligos effectively downregulated both mRNA and protein expression of Bcl-2 in a difficult-to-transfect polarized epithelial cell monolayer in the absence of any delivery agents. They compared these FANA oligos with conventional siRNAs and other oligo chemistries and found FANA oligos to be most potent, efficient and caused no toxicity. "The FANA approach has a substantial potential for development of an effective treatment for gastrointestinal diseases especially inflammatory bowel diseases," he further added. This study was recently published in Nature Publishing Group's Molecular Therapy—Nucleic Acids.
About AUM LifeTech, Inc: At AUM LifeTech we are taking important steps towards development of personalized medicine at the genetic level. We are working on the development of next generation RNA silencing and regulation therapeutics for a wide spectrum of genetic diseases. In addition, AUM is also making its RNA silencing FANA technology available to scientists and researchers for basic and translational research. For research use, AUM LifeTech provides FANA antisense oligonucleotides for RNA silencing and regulation studies through its subsidiary AUM BioTech. AUM LifeTech is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at the University City Science Center's Port business incubator. For more information visit: www.aumlifetech.com
AUM LifeTech, Inc
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