NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ohio State University today announced it has licensed to Microlin Bio almost 100 issued and pending microRNA patents for the potential development of cancer diagnostics and treatments.
Microlin also licensed a novel nucleic acid delivery technology from OSU to deliver new therapies to cancer patients. The new therapies would be based on the miRNA patents.
The technologies were developed by Carlo Croce a researcher at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute; Robert Lee, a researcher at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy; and collaborators at the National Cancer Institute.
As a result of the deal, OSU will have an equity position in Microlin, which is developing miRNA-based diagnostic tests. Further financial details of the deal, which is targeted at prostate, ovarian, colon, and lung cancers, were not disclosed.
In a statement, Croce said that his work, as well as that of others, has demonstrated that miRNA dysregulation plays a crucial role in the development of cancer and other disease. "This licensing agreement will help translate these discoveries into transformational changes in the diagnosis and treatment of several human cancers," he said.
Michael Caligiuri, CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and director of Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center, added "Each patient's cancer is different at the molecular and genetic level. This portfolio of microRNA discoveries promises to help us identify and target many of these differences."
Microlin is based in New York and is validating several cancer diagnostic tests "that accurately determine the presence or absence of certain cancers and, in some applications, can determine the best course of treatment for patients," it said on its website.
Among the tests the company is developing is Lumira for diagnosing lung cancer and determining the risk of developing the cancer; Omira, a screening and chemo-sensitivity test for ovarian cancer; Colomira for the diagnosis and prognosis of 5-FU colon cancer, as well as determination of sensitivity to therapies for the disease; and Promira for the diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer.