Asuragen spun out Mirna Therapeutics, which will concentrate on the development and commercialization of miRNA therapeutics. Mirna will receive $3 million in capital from Asuragen to get it off the ground.
Asuragen will be transferring its miRNA therapeutic intellectual property to Mirna. This will give the firm a body of pending intellectual property around miRNAs developed by its own scientists as well as in-licensed from other institutions, according to Asuragen.
“Based upon Asuragen's unique miRNA biomarker discovery platform, the miRNA therapeutic program has progressed to a point where it deserves the funding and development expertise to focus solely on therapeutics," says Matt Winkler CEO/CSO of Asuragen. "Therapeutic development requires an entirely different skill set and funding strategy than diagnostics. Mirna Therapeutics will operate as an independent company with its own management team and board of directors."
Previously, Mirna scientists while at Asuragen along with their Yale collaborators showed that a particular miRNA, let-7, plays a fundamental role in lung cancer and that introduction of let-7 using a viral vector results in a reduction of tumor load in an animal model.