NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Marina Biotech and Rosetta Genomics announced today that they have initiated a clinical study to identify microRNAs involved in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) as potential therapeutic targets for the disease.
Earlier this year, the companies announced they have formed a partnership to develop miRNA diagnostics and drugs, focusing on neuromuscular diseases and dystrophies. The deal calls for Rosetta to identify miRNAs involved in the various disorders. If an miRNA is correlative to the disease, Rosetta will have the option to develop a diagnostic around it. If the miRNA is found to be involved in the disease pathology, Marina has the right to use it as a therapeutic target.
The companies have now kicked off the first therapeutic-focused project under their alliance, with Rosetta beginning to evaluate archived muscle samples for 10 to 30 DMD patients and an equal number of non-DMD controls.
"We look forward to leveraging our microRNA biomarker platform for the discovery of specific microRNA signatures in DMD to identify therapeutic candidates for Marina Biotech to develop as potential new treatment options," Rosetta President and CEO Kenneth Berlin said in a statement.