Interference of the mir-17 miRNA Cluster as a Novel Cancer Therapeutic Strategy

The MYC cancer gene increases the expression of a cluster of microRNAs that are implicated in the development of human cancers. Researchers at JHU have discovered that MYC regulates a growth regulator, E2F1, through several miRNAs. This novel discovery suggests that interference of E2F1 or other targets in the mir-17 cluster should inhibit cancer growth and development. Using antisense oligonucleotides to interfere with the miRNAs directed at E2F1, the scientists demonstrated that the level of E2F1 protein levels could be altered. This novel discovery suggests that interfering with the mir-17 cluster of miRNAs should inhibit human and other cancers in which mir-17 expression is increased. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) Currently, the oncology market is the third largest pharmaceutical market and is worth an estimated $40 billion per year. The market for chemotherapeutic agents is reflective of the large cancer population, which currently stands at around 10.1 million in the US alone. Despite the large market, the majority of cancer therapeutics have minimal or only selective efficacy, and additional targets are important to cancer drug development programs. This invention provides a novel target for the development of therapeutic antisense oligonucleotides to aid in the treatment of cancer.

Inventor(s): Mendell, Joshua

Type of Offer: Licensing

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