9:22 AM
Jul 11, 2018
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

The RNA Renaissance continues

How Disney’s Scripps lab has expanded the RNA target universe

Two papers from Matthew Disney’s lab at The Scripps Research Institute herald a pair of RNA-related discoveries: a method for engineering small molecules that target and cleave oncogenic microRNAs, and a platform that identified RNA-targeting capabilities in three approved cancer drugs.

The findings contribute to growing evidence that RNAs are therapeutically relevant targets for small molecules and offer new ways to target miRNAs (see “Structured Outlook”).

“We are starting to see a dawn of a new age where RNA is considered a small molecule drug target,” Disney said.

While few compounds are known to bind human RNA with subsequent biological effects, RNAs are attractive drug targets because amplification methods enable the detection of even minute quantities of RNA sequences in tumors or other biological samples, he said.

He added that the ability to determine RNA expression...

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