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Oct 22, 2008

MDRNA Gains Patents Covering Technology to Enhance Profile of RNAi Drugs

  • MDRNA obtained intellectual property related to non-nucleotide chemistry technology from RiboTask. Unlocked nucleic acid (UNA) will permit MDRNA to stabilize and provide drug-like properties to RISC and dicer length siRNAs.

    “Unlocked Nucleic Acid, an acyclic ribonucleoside analog, increases the breadth of MDRNA's technology platform by providing additional, novel RNA chemistries,” according to Michael Templin, Ph.D., vp of drug discovery and pharmaceutical development. “The research we have conducted in our laboratories suggests that the addition of UNA increases siRNA stability, reduces off-target activity, and improves gene silencing, characteristics that are widely accepted as key to improved siRNA safety and efficacy.”

    RiboTask is leveraging the UNA technology in diagnostic and reagent applications. In UNAs, the bond between C2' and C3' atoms is broken. This change in sugar structure makes the nucleoside analog flexible. This in turn reduces the binding affinity between two strands of an siRNA molecule.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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