Mirna Therapeutics today said it has initiated a Phase I clinical trial for its microRNA-based cancer candidate MRX34, making it the first miRNA to advance into such study for cancer. MRX34 is an miRNA mimic of tumor suppressor miR-34, and delivered using a liposomal delivery formulation in-licensed from Marina Biotech.

In a statement, Mirna CEO Paul Lammers called the trial “a landmark even for cancer drug development,” adding that “the preclinical profile of MRX34 across a range of tumors strongly suggests that miRNA-based therapeutics may represent a potent, new class of anticancer drugs working through a mechanism that affects multiple oncogenic pathways simultaneously.”

The trial, which is expected to enroll up to 48 patients with unresectable primary liver cancer or metastatic cancer with liver involvement, will follow a standard oncology study design, involving an initial dose-escalation phase followed by an enrichment phase, the firm said.

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