Despite the mounting data linking a variety of miRNAs to different diseases, in most cases the data are early-stage, and thus far only a handful of miRNAs have made it into the pipelines of companies in the field.
Included in Alnylam's pipeline is a preclinical program in hypercholesterolemia, which remains on track to yield an investigational new drug application filing next year and will incorporate a new lipid-nanoparticle delivery technology developed in collaboration with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.
In June, Regulus announced that it had inked a deal giving Sanofi-Aventis the worldwide, exclusive rights to use its technology and know-how to discover, develop, and commercialize miRNA drugs, including a fibrosis treatment targeting miR-21.
Adding to the difficulty in raising funds, there has also been an increase in the number of companies operating in the miRNA space in recent years, many of which are on the lookout for their share of available investment dollars.
Rosetta Genomics top executive said this week that the firm expects to forge at least one strategic partnership by year end, although he did not specify whether it would be around its diagnostics, drug research biomarker, or therapeutics efforts.