LONDON & BELLSHILL, Scotland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MiNA Therapeutics, the pioneer in RNA activation therapeutics, and LGC LINK, the oligonucleotide synthesis reagent manufacturer, and part of the Genomics division of LGC, today announced that Innovate UK has awarded the two companies a grant to develop liver targeted gene activation therapies for the treatment of liver diseases. The grant of up to approximately £400,000, with additional funding from MiNA and LGC LINK, will support a two-year research project.
Small activating RNAs (saRNAs) are an emerging class of medicines that restore normal function to patients’ cells by activating expression of specific genes. In 2016 MiNA Therapeutics initiated the OUTREACH Phase I clinical study of lead program, MTL-CEBPA, in severe liver cancer. LGC LINK has developed cutting edge chemistry and linker technologies to enable the targeted delivery of RNA compounds to liver cells.
If successful, the research project may enable the future discovery of liver targeted saRNA drug candidates with distinct benefits over those currently in development including a more convenient route of administration and a broader therapeutic safety window. Under the terms of the collaboration MiNA will have exclusive use of the results for oligonucleotide approaches that activate gene expression. LGC LINK will have exclusive use of the results for oligonucleotide approaches that inhibit gene expression.
“We are extremely pleased to be selected by Innovate UK for this prestigious grant,” commented David Blakey, CSO of MiNA Therapeutics. “We are excited to work with LGC LINK to expand the possibilities of saRNAs for the treatment of liver diseases.”
Catherine McKeen, Head of Chemistry of LGC LINK said, "Oligonucleotide therapeutics have always been of particular interest at LINK. This exciting collaboration with MiNA Therapeutics enables us to further develop modifiers and linkers to improve targeted delivery and cellular uptake of RNA oligonucleotide based drugs.”
This grant is part of the Biomedical Catalyst scheme funded by Innovate UK, The Medical Research Council and Scottish Enterprise.
About MiNA Therapeutics
Harnessing the innate mechanism of gene activation, MiNA Therapeutics’ platform enables the development of new medicines that restore normal function to patients’ cells. We are applying our technology and clinical know-how to transform the therapy landscape of severe liver diseases. www.minatx.com
About LGC LINK
In July 2017, LINK, an ISO9001:2015 certified manufacturer and a leading supplier of speciality reagents for oligonucleotide synthesis, was acquired by LGC and is now operating as the core business of a new unit, LGC LINK, within the Genomics division. LINK has an excellent record in bringing in-licence products to market with various worldwide commercial partners.
LGC is an international leader in the extended life sciences sector, including human healthcare, agri-food & the environment. LGC provides a comprehensive range of reference materials, proficiency testing schemes, genomics reagents and instrumentation, as well as research and measurement services. Its scientific tools and solutions enable organisations to advance research, develop new products and form an essential part of their quality and compliance procedures.
LGC’s 2,300 employees include internationally-recognised scientists who are experts in their field. Headquartered in London, it operates out of 19 countries worldwide and is extensively accredited to quality standards such as GMP, GLP, ISO 13485, ISO 17034, ISO 17043, ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 9001.
LGC has been home to the UK Government Chemist for more than 100 years and is the UK National Measurement Laboratory and Designated Institute for chemical and bio measurement. LGC has been privately-owned since 1996 and has diversified through internal investment and acquisition to be an international leader in its chosen niche markets. LGC is now owned by funds affiliated with KKR.
For more information, please visit www.lgcgroup.com.