AUSTIN, Texas -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Mirna Therapeutics, Inc., a leading, privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a broad pipeline of microRNA-based oncology therapeutics, announced today the publication of new preclinical data suggesting that microRNA-34 (miR-34) and erlotinib, an EFGR inhibitor approved to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), cooperate synergistically to inhibit proliferation of certain erlotinib-resistant NSCLC cells and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells in vitro. The data, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, demonstrate how a therapeutic microRNA may help address drug resistance and increase the efficacy of single-gene targeted cancer therapy.
Mirna is currently conducting a Phase I study of MRX34, a mimic of the naturally-occurring tumor suppressor microRNA miR-34 and the first microRNA replacement therapy product globally to enter a clinical trial in cancer. The Phase I study focuses on patients with unresectable primary liver cancer or metastatic cancer with liver involvement.
“The ability of miR-34 to inhibit multiple cancer pathways is a likely explanation for restoring sensitivity of NSCLC and HCC cells to erlotinib,” noted Andreas Bader, Ph.D., Mirna’s director of analytical and external research and senior author of the publication. “The observation that erlotinib also enhanced the therapeutic effects of the miR-34 mimic was unexpected and makes this combination a particularly promising therapeutic approach.”
“This study highlights the potentially broad application of miR-34 mimics, like MRX34, as an oncology therapeutic when used as a monotherapy or in combination,” said Paul Lammers, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Mirna. “We are focused on the clinical development of MRX34 as a cancer therapeutic, including identifying opportunities in which treatment with miRNA mimics can enhance the effectiveness of other cancer therapies.”
The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, and a commercialization grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
About Mirna Therapeutics, Inc.
Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. (Mirna) is a private biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of micro-RNA (miRNA) based therapeutics. In 2013, the Company was the first worldwide to launch a clinical trial of a miRNA mimic (mimetic) drug candidate for the treatment of cancer. Mirna’s intellectual property portfolio contains numerous issued patents and patent applications, pertaining to more than 300 miRNAs with applications in oncology and other diseases. Oncology-directed miRNAs include key tumor suppressors in cancer, such as miR-34 and let-7, which inhibited tumor growth in a number of preclinical studies. The Company, founded in 2007 and located in Austin, TX, has received significant funding from Sofinnova Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Pfizer Venture Investments and other private investors. Mirna is also funded by the State of Texas, both through the State’s Emerging Technology Fund, and from the CPRIT.
For more information, visit www.mirnarx.com.