BioSpace Collaborative

Academic/Biomedical Research
News & Jobs
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Channel Medical Device and Diagnostics Channel Clinical Research Channel BioSpace Collaborative    Job Seekers:  Register | Login          Employers:  Register | Login  

NEWSLETTERS
Free Newsletters
Archive
My Subscriptions

NEWS
News by Subject
News by Disease
News by Date
PLoS
Search News
Post Your News
JoVE

CAREER NETWORK
Job Seeker Login
Most Recent Jobs
Search Jobs
Post Resume
Career Fairs
Career Resources
For Employers

HOTBEDS
Regional News
US & Canada
  Biotech Bay
  Biotech Beach
  Genetown
  Pharm Country
  BioCapital
  BioMidwest
  Bio NC
  BioForest
  Southern Pharm
  BioCanada East
  US Device
Europe
Asia

DIVERSITY

PROFILES
Company Profiles

INTELLIGENCE
Research Store

INDUSTRY EVENTS
Research Events
Post an Event
RESOURCES
Real Estate
Business Opportunities

 News | News By Subject | News by Disease News By Date | Search News
Get Our Industry eNewsletter FREE email:    
   

SomaGenics Inc. Reports Study on Mechanism of Action of Its Therapeutic Platform


7/24/2012 12:05:32 PM

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SomaGenics, Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in RNA-based technologies, announced the publication of a study reporting the mechanism of action of its sshRNAs, the class of molecules that forms the basis of the company's therapeutic platform. sshRNAs are small synthetic stem-loop (or hairpin) RNAs that the company's researchers have shown to be highly potent in knocking down target RNAs through an RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism. In the new study, the SomaGenics authors and their collaborators show that the two structurally distinct types of sshRNA, right-loop or R-type and left-loop or L-type, have different mechanisms of action, and each is different from the mechanisms of action of standard siRNAs and shRNAs.

The new study shows that sshRNAs do not require the enzyme Dicer for activity in cells, unlike standard larger hairpin RNAs and most microRNAs. Other results show that R- and L-type sshRNAs require different structural features to be highly active, and provide an explanation for how these features promote the gene silencing potency of each class of molecules. R-sshRNAs require that their loops be cleavable by a non-Dicer cellular enzyme for maximal activity, whereas L-sshRNAs function very well with their loops intact. In both types of hairpins, the non-active, "passenger" sequence is "sliced" by the key enzyme Argonaute-2, but in the case of L-sshRNAs, only the single small fragment of slicing is lost from the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) prior to engaging the target to be silenced, while for R-sshRNAs and siRNAs, two small fragments of slicing are removed. Interestingly, L-sshRNAs have a natural equivalent, the recently discovered microRNA miR-451, which also does not require Dicer activity to be incorporated into the RNAi machinery.

The new study appears online this week in Nucleic Acids Research. The lead author is Dr. Anne Dallas of SomaGenics, and coauthors include researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and Integrated DNA Technologies of Coralville, Iowa.

SomaGenics presents findings at recent liver meetings

SomaGenics' President and CEO, Dr. Brian Johnston, has given oral presentations on SomaGenics' therapeutic program against the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in two recent major international forums: the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL) in Barcelona, Spain (April 18-22), and the 14th International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease (ISVHLD) in Shanghai, China (June 21-25). In addition to the findings of the Nucleic Acids Research paper, Dr. Johnston described the success of SomaGenics and its collaborators from Roche and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals in using sshRNAs directed against HCV and formulated with lipid nanoparticles to achieve a large, sustained reduction in viral load in HCV-infected mice whose livers are largely populated with human hepatocytes (see SomaGenics press release, Sept. 20, 2011). With these results, SomaGenics' HCV program has successfully completed preclinical efficacy evaluation and is ready for clinical development.

Contact Information:

Dr. Brian Johnston
CEO, SomaGenics, Inc.
www.somagenics.com
bjohnston@somagenics.com
831-426-7700 x12

This press release was issued through eReleasesĀ® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE SomaGenics, Inc.



Read at BioSpace.com

   

ADD TO DEL.ICIO.US    ADD TO DIGG    ADD TO FURL    ADD TO STUMBLEUPON    ADD TO TECHNORATI FAVORITES
 

//-->