Updated on 8 November 2013
Singapore: Danish firm, Mirrx Therapeutics and Australia's Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology has formed a collaboration and commercialisation agreement, which formalises a long standing collaboration to discover and develop therapeutic oligonucleotide drug candidates targeting vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin).
Pharmacological modulation of VE-cadherin expression has the potential to treat a broad range of diseases for which regulation of vascular permeability and angiogenesis are important; including ischemic conditions, inflammation, oedema and solid tumours. The Agreement includes cross-licensing of patents, collaborative research and joint commercialisation activities.
VE-cadherin is a key cell-cell junctional protein in the endothelial lining of the blood vessels that regulates junctional structure and downstream signalling events, including regulation of vascular permeability and promotion of normal angiogenesis.
Mirrx and Centenary have discovered that VE-cadherin expression is regulated, in-part, by the microRNA miR-27a. This negative regulator is itself down-regulated during angiogenic processes (for example after an ischemia event), leading to increased expression of VE-cadherin and reduced vascular permeability and stimulation of angiogenesis.
The collaborators' lead drug candidate, CD5-2, a novel, potent 15-mer oligonucleotide drug, leverages Mirrx' proprietary Blockmir technology to selectively inhibit miR-27a VE-cadherin regulation without affecting miR-27a regulation of its other targets.