21.06.2012 - Researchers have halted the growth of skin cancer with help of a DNA that acts like an enzyme
Dublin/New South Wales – A DNA-based enzyme can block the growth of two common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, an Australian-Irish team of researchers has demonstrated (Science Translational Medicine, 20 June). Dubbed Dz13, the DNAzyme could potentially be a safe and effective therapy for skin cancer in humans.
In animal models for both skin cancers as well as metastasis, the molecule stopped tumour spread and growth effectively by binding to and destroying the RNA of a key gene called c-Jun. The proliferation–related transcription factor controlled cancer growth by suppression of neovascularisation and increasing apoptosis of tumour cells. Phenotypically, the DNAzyme reduced lung nodule formation and an intratumour injection of 100 µg Dz13 led to complete tumour remission after 35 days.
Levon Khachigian and colleagues, who have filed an US patent on „vascular therapeutics“, also found that Dz13 probably triggers an immune response to inhibit tumour growth because it acts better in immunocompetent than in immunocompromised mice. In GLP-compliant toxicology tests, the researchers proved in monkeys, pigs and rats that Dz13 is safe and well tolerated. It did not interfere in more than 70 physiological relevant bioassays, suggesting a reduced propensity for off-target effects.
The authors suggest to test the compound in first-in-man trails. Up to now DNAzymes have not caught on as therapeutic agents partly due to the fact that delivery has been a challenge for DNAzyme therapeutic applications. Now, the researchers have formulated their c-jun mRNA–targeted DNAzyme in complex with a DOTAP/DOPE–based lipid carrier.
20.07.2016 Belgian molecular diagnostics company Biocartis Group NV has raised €55m and will use the funds mainly to expand manufacturing capacities for its PCR-based molecular diagnostics system Idylla.
19.07.2016 It is Europe’s first gene therapy company to float on Euronext: Gensight raised €40m in its IPO. And it is not the only French company that has taken the leap in an uncertain market climate – Alzheimer’s expert Pharnext also went public.
18.07.2016 When NASA blasted off to the International Space Station on Monday morning, it had UK tech on board. A miniature DNA sequencer from Oxford Nanopore will be used to keep an eye on the ISS atmosphere – and may even analyse alien DNA one day.
13.07.2016 Cell Medica has acquired Swiss antibody specialist Delenex Therapeutics. The deal nets the British cellular therapeutics developer Delenex’ proprietory antibody fragment platform Pentrabody.
12.07.2016 Vienna-based vaccine specialist Themis Bioscience GmbH has secured broad access to a promising virus vaccine vector tech by extending its license agreement with French Institut Pasteur. Its goal: to develop a Zika vaccine.
07.07.2016 Californian biopharma Medivation has agreed to confidential negotiations with its suitors, in particular the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which aggressively has buffeted the cancer therapy specialist for months.
06.07.2016 The European Commission started an investigation into Illumina’s and Sequenom’s 2014 patent agreement, UK-competitor Premaitha Health said. The two US companies had agreed to pool their Noninvasive Prenatal Testing IP.
04.07.2016 Cinfa Biotech is shuffling for position on the lucrative biosimilar market. The Spanish-German company has published positive results in a study for a pegfilgrastim copycat with 172 healthy volunteers in Germany.
30.06.2016 UK’s Heptares Therapeutics and Paul Scherrer Institute spinoff leadXpro will collaborate to find new approaches for the determination of high-res X-ray structures of G protein-coupled receptors to find new drugs.
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