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Biogazelle, Isis Pharmaceuticals Collaborate on Long Non-Coding RNA Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biogazelle today announced a research collaboration with Isis Pharmaceuticals to identify and validate novel drug targets. 

The collaboration is aimed at treatments for colon, liver, and lung cancer. Isis will provide Biogazelle with access to its antisense platform for the large-scale validation of therapeutic long non-coding RNA targets from Biogazelle's target identification pipeline. 

Financial and other details of the deal were not disclosed. 

Antisense drugs are small DNA- or RNA-like compounds that degrade complementary RNA targets inside a cell. In recent years, antisense drugs have been developed to treat diseases by targeting disease-associated protein-coding mRNA targets, Biogazelle said. 

LncRNA represents a new class of RNAs that do not code for proteins, and evidence suggests they play an important role in cancer development and progression, the Ghent, Belgium-based company added. 

"This collaboration broadens the application of our technology to this promising new area and provides us with a knowledgeable partner that has the diagnostic expertise and experience to quickly advance from screening to target validation," C. Frank Bennett, senior vice president of research at Isis Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement. 

Founded in 2007 as a spinoff of Ghent University, Biogazelle leverages RNA sequencing, digital PCR, and its qbase+ software to provide gene expression analysis services.