As a field, RNA epigenetics is still in its infancy, though picking up pace as researchers translate lab findings to drug development. Two papers straddling academia and industry provide a new quantitative method that can improve decisions about what indications to pursue, and help companies assess how well their compounds are working.
While standard epigenetics -- which involves modifications of DNA -- is seeing its third wave of activity, RNA epigenetics has barely a decade of science to stand on (see “On Your Marks”).
Three newcos have been founded in the last three years, all aiming to treat disease by targeting epigenetic modifiers of RNA. The idea is to control the expression at the translational level, where some targets are more amenable to intervention than at the protein