Regulus Therapeutics, the microRNA drug joint venture of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Isis Pharmaceuticals, said this week that it has exclusively licensed California Institute of Technology inventions related to the modulation of miR-146 and miR-155, key mediators of the inflammatory response.
According to the company, miR-155 has been found to be induced during the macrophage inflammatory response and is a common target of a broad range of inflammatory mediators. "As miR-155 is known to function as an oncogene, these observations suggest a link between inflammation and cancer," Regulus noted.
Meanwhile, miR-146 "is induced, in an NF-kB-dependent manner, in response to proinflammatory mediators," the company added. "These findings suggest that modulation of miR-146 may be of therapeutic benefit in treating diseases characterized by excessive activation of innate immunity signaling."