Healthcare Industry News: miRNA Replacement
News Release - November 12, 2009
Mirna Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Paul Lammers as President and CEOAUSTIN, Texas--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Mirna Therapeutics (“Mirna”), a spin-off of Asuragen, Inc. announced today that Paul Lammers, M.D. has joined the Company as its President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. As President and CEO, Dr. Lammers is responsible for driving fundamental biological discoveries in the field of microRNA (miRNA) by the Mirna team into the clinic to ultimately become new therapeutics.
“We are excited to have recruited Paul to the position of CEO, as he brings broad executive, commercial, clinical and regulatory experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry to Mirna”, stated Matt Winkler, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Mirna. “This is an important milestone in the process that started in 2002 at Ambion, continued at Asuragen and now at Mirna to exploit the therapeutic potential of miRNAs in cancer. Paul brings critical skills to Mirna as it extends beyond discovery into clinical development of miRNA Replacement therapies.”
“The field of micro-RNA based therapeutics has expanded exponentially over the past few years, and shows incredible promise in the fight against cancer and many other diseases," said Paul Lammers, M.D., President & CEO of Mirna Therapeutics. “Based on Mirna’s intellectual property portfolio, Mirna will play a key role in these efforts.”
Prior to joining Mirna Therapeutics, Dr. Lammers was most recently president of Repros Therapeutics (Nasdaq:RPRX ). Dr. Lammers served for 6 years as the chief medical officer for EMD Serono Inc. and began his career with Organon spending 8 years in the commercial and clinical operations in Europe and the US. He also served 4 years as senior vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs at Zonagen. Dr. Lammers obtained his Medical Degree and Masters of Science degree from the Catholic University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
miRNAs are approximately 21 nucleotide long RNA molecules that affect gene expression by interacting with messenger RNAs. Unlike siRNAs, miRNAs are encoded in the human genome and are natural regulators of global gene expression. More than 600 miRNAs are encoded in the human genome and comprise approximately 2% of all mammalian genes. Since each miRNA appears to regulate the expression of tens to hundreds of different genes, miRNAs can function as “master-switches”, efficiently regulating and coordinating multiple cellular pathways and processes. By coordinating the expression of multiple genes, miRNAs are responsible for guiding proper embryonic development, immunity, inflammation, as well as cellular growth and proliferation. Mis-regulation of miRNAs appears to play a fundamental role in many cancers and replacement of down regulated miRNAs in tumor cells may result in a positive therapeutic response, “MicroRNA Replacement Therapy”.
About Mirna Therapeutics
Mirna Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics. Mirna has a substantial body of pending intellectual property around miRNAs developed by its own scientists as well as in-licensed from other institutions. Mirna scientists, while at Ambion, filed two very broad patent applications in 2004 naming more than 200 miRNAs and their functional roles in a number of different disease states. Mirna owns more than thirty pending patent applications as well as exclusive rights to pending patents submitted by Yale University. Mirna’s IP portfolio contains numerous miRNAs with applications in oncology including those that are key tumor suppressors in cancer. Among Mirna’s lead candidates for therapeutic development are the tumor suppressors miR-34 and let-7 that have proven to block tumor growth in a number of different pre-clinical animal studies (Johnson et al., Cell, 2005; Esquela-Kerscher et al., Cell Cycle, 2008). The Company, founded in 2007, is located in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.mirnarx.com.
Source: Mirna Therapeutics
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