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InteRNA Technologies and VU University Medical Center to Develop microRNA-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Cancer


10/30/2008 6:41:45 AM

BILTHOVEN and AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, October 30 /PRNewswire/ -- InteRNA Technologies B.V. and VU university medical center in Amsterdam, VUmc, announce today the signing of a framework research agreement to develop microRNA (miRNA)-based diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer using InteRNA's proprietary library of miRNAs.

Under the research collaboration, InteRNA will apply its unique lentiviral-based miRNA overexpression library in multi-parametric, high-throughput screening assays to identify the biological role of individual miRNAs and novel therapeutic targets in leukemia, colon, prostate and head and neck cancer. In addition, diagnostic miRNA profiles will be developed through next-generation sequencing, in combination with InteRNA's proprietary small RNA bioinformatics pipeline, miR-Intess(TM), on diverse patient sample sets provided by VUmc.

"We are very excited about the opportunity of combining profiling and functional screens based on our proprietary miRNA library in the diverse research projects. This research collaboration with renowned investigators at several departments embedded within the Cancer Center Amsterdam at the VUmc will significantly boost our discovery programs," said Roel Schaapveld, Chief Operating Officer of InteRNA Technologies.

"MicroRNA's play a critical role in the development of cancer and are expected to predict clinical behaviour in cancer patients. This collaboration enables us to find new microRNA-based biomarkers for tumor progression as well as to develop opportunities for pharmacological intervention in a range of malignant diseases," said professor Gerrit Meijer of VUmc.

"The collaboration with InteRNA is another example of our mission to translate our scientific knowledge into products and services that improve healthcare and prevention of disease," said Koen Verhoef, Technology Transfer Officer of VU university medical center.

About InteRNA Technologies B.V.

InteRNA Technologies B.V. actively explores and exploits opportunities to translate its unique collection of miRNAs and miRNA discovery and validation technologies into successful diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic applications. The company's primary focus is to unravel the role of its proprietary miRNAs in cancer.

InteRNA Technologies was incorporated in 2006 by Aglaia Oncology Fund and has established close relationships with the research groups of its founders Edwin Cuppen, PhD, and Eugene Berezikov, PhD, of the Hubrecht Institute (Utrecht, the Netherlands), leading scientific groups in the field of miRNA research.

See for more information http://www.interna-technologies.com.

About VUmc

VU University Medical Center's core business consists of patient care, scientific research, and education. Its pivotal points in care and research are cancer and immunity, the brain, movement, vital functions and extramural care. Each year 38,000 patients are admitted (including one-day admissions), well over 300,000 patients visit the Outpatients department and 40,000 arrive at the Accident and Emergency department. Approximately 2,000 medical students are in training here. Each year, VU University Medical Center produces around 2,000 scientific publications and reports based on the scientific research carried out here. This includes the results of thesis research projects being carried out by 100 PhD students.

Source: InteRNA Genomics

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