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According to the company, the miRNA has been shown to be dysregulated in mouse models of cardiac disease and fibrosis, and "antagonizing miR-21 with therapeutic oligonucleotides … inhibits fibrosis and attenuates cardiac function in such models."

In his defense, Mirrx's founder charged that Santaris is aiming to gain control of the Blockmir technology as an alternative to the LNA technology used in its phase I HCV drug SPC3649, which he alleges falls under intellectual property controlled by Regulus Therapeutics.

Rosetta's president and CEO also noted that the company continues to work in the miRNA therapeutics space, but indicated that its collaboration with Regulus Therapeutics to develop a liver cancer drug has officially ended.

The application, owned by Stanford University and exclusively licensed to Regulus, claims methods of antagonizing miR-181a to regulate immune response.

The newest deal will focus on miRNA-122, with hepatitis C infection as the initial indication.

According to the company, the miRNA is linked to a variety of diseases including cancer, fibrosis, and heart disease.

Daniel Von Hoff, Steven McKnight, Zachary Zimmerman, Eric Olson, Victor Ambros, Michael Bristow, Thomas Cech, Stephanie Dimmeler, Douglas Mann, Jeffery Molkentin

Paired Ends: Jan 12, 2010

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Zachary Zimmerman

The company has exclusively licensed inventions related to the modulation of miR-146 and miR-155, key mediators of the inflammatory response.

The patent application, No. 20050261218 and titled "Oligomeric Compounds and Compositions for Use in Modulation [of] Small Non-Coding RNAs," claims methods of inhibiting the liver-specific miRNA miR-122, which has been shown to play a role in hepatitis C virus replication.

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Stephen Hahn, the nominee to lead the US Food and Drug Administration, underwent a Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, the Washington Post reports.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved an RNA interference drug to treat acute hepatic porphyria.

Gizmodo looks over the past decade of consumer DNA testing to find the field to be lacking.

In Nature this week: native RNA sequencing and analysis of a human poly(A) transcriptome, nanopore sequencing-based method to analyze short tandem repeat expansions, and more.