AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mirna Therapeutics, Inc., a private biotechnology company pioneering microRNA (miRNA) replacement therapies for cancer, announced today the allowance of key claims in U.S. Patent Application No. 11/837,487 entitled “Method and compositions involving miRNA and miRNA inhibitor molecules.” The allowed claims describe multiple chemistries and structures used in therapeutic miRNA mimics, including the one used in MRX34, the Company’s lead clinical candidate. The composition of matter claims complement other Mirna patents previously issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which relate to the therapeutic use of fifteen miRNAs in the treatment of various cancers.
Mirna is currently conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial of MRX34, a miR-34-based therapy and the first miRNA mimic to advance into a human clinical trial. The Phase 1 trial is treating patients with unresectable primary liver cancer or metastatic cancer with liver involvement. The Company expects to complete the clinical trial late 2014.
“In addition to multiple patents in our portfolio issued already in U.S. and Europe, this patent provides further significant intellectual property protection for the miRNA in Mirna’s lead product candidate MRX34 and that of other miRNA mimics in our pipeline,” said Dr. Paul Lammers, Mirna’s President and CEO. “The allowed claims increase the value of MRX34 as well as additional earlier stage assets in our pipeline and, importantly, these claims strengthen our position as a leading miRNA therapeutics company.”
Mirna’s research is in part supported by a commercialization grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
About Liver Cancer
Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and the third leading cause of cancer death. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 600,000 new cases diagnosed annually which results in more than 90 percent mortality. The annual incidence rate in the U.S. is estimated to be approximately 20,000 patients.
MRX34 is the first of a series of clinical therapeutic candidates from Mirna Therapeutics designed to mimic the activity of a human microRNA (miRNA). MRX34 is a liposome-formulated mimic of the tumor suppressor miRNA, miR-34, which is lost or expressed at reduced levels in most solid and liquid tumors. It functions within the p53 pathway and inhibits cancer cell growth by repressing MYC, MET, BCL2, β-catenin, and other oncogenes. The miR-34 mimic induces cell cycle arrest, senescence and cell death. It also interferes with the viability of cancer stem cells, creates a barrier to metastasis, and sensitizes cancer cells to other therapies.
About Mirna Therapeutics
Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. (Mirna) is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of miRNA therapeutics. The Company has a foundational intellectual property portfolio on the therapeutic use of miRNAs developed by its own scientists as well as in-licensed from other institutions. Mirna’s IP portfolio contains more than 300 miRNAs with applications in oncology and other diseases. Oncology-directed miRNAs include those that are key tumor suppressors in cancer, such as miR-34 and let-7, which have been shown to block tumor growth in a number of different preclinical animal studies. The Company, founded in 2007 and located in Austin, Texas, has received significant funding from Sofinnova Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Pfizer Venture Investments and other private investors, as well as the State of Texas, both through the State’s Emerging Technology Fund and from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For more information, visit www.mirnarx.com.