Regulus Therapeutics said this week that it has obtained the exclusive rights from New York University to intellectual property covering the modulation of two microRNAs, miR-33a and miR-33b, for the treatment of metabolic diseases including atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome.
"Regulus scientists and our collaborators at NYU have shown that dysregulation of specific microRNAs, including miR-33a and miR-33b, can drive metabolic disease processes linked to dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis,” Regulus President and CEO Kleanthis Xanthopoulos said in a statement.
Specifically, investigators have found that miR-33a and miR-33b down-regulate genes involved in cholesterol transport and metabolic syndrome. Inhibition of the two increase circulating high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, “suggesting that antagonism of miR-33a and miR-33b may be protective against atherosclerosis,” the company said.
In addition, NYU and Regulus researchers have demonstrated that knocking down the miRNAs in mouse models reduces arterial lesions in models of atherosclerosis with established atherosclerotic plaques, Regulus noted.
Terms of the IP licensing deal were not disclosed.