Navigation Links
SomaGenics Reports Study on Mechanism of Action of Its Therapeutic Platform

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SomaGenics, Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in RNA-based technologies, announced the publication of a study reporting the mechanism of action of its sshRNAs, the class of molecules that forms the basis of the company's therapeutic platform. sshRNAs are small synthetic stem-loop (or hairpin) RNAs that the company's researchers have shown to be highly potent in knocking down target RNAs through an RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism. In the new study, the SomaGenics authors and their collaborators show that the two structurally distinct types of sshRNA, right-loop or R-type and left-loop or L-type, have different mechanisms of action, and each is different from the mechanisms of action of standard siRNAs and shRNAs.

The new study shows that sshRNAs do not require the enzyme Dicer for activity in cells, unlike standard larger hairpin RNAs and most microRNAs. Other results show that R- and L-type sshRNAs require different structural features to be highly active, and provide an explanation for how these features promote the gene silencing potency of each class of molecules. R-sshRNAs require that their loops be cleavable by a non-Dicer cellular enzyme for maximal activity, whereas L-sshRNAs function very well with their loops intact. In both types of hairpins, the non-active, "passenger" sequence is "sliced" by the key enzyme Argonaute-2, but in the case of L-sshRNAs, only the single small fragment of slicing is lost from the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) prior to engaging the target to be silenced, while for R-sshRNAs and siRNAs, two small fragments of slicing are removed. Interestingly, L-sshRNAs have a natural equivalent, the recently discovered microRNA miR-451, which also does not require Dicer activity to be incorporated into the RNAi machinery.  

The new study appears online this week in Nucleic Acids Research. The lead author is Dr. Anne Dallas of SomaGenics, and coauthors include researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and Integrated DNA Technologies of Coralville, Iowa.

SomaGenics presents findings at recent liver meetings

SomaGenics' President and CEO, Dr. Brian Johnston, has given oral presentations on SomaGenics' therapeutic program against the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in two recent major international forums: the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL) in Barcelona, Spain (April 18-22), and the 14th International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease (ISVHLD) in Shanghai, China (June 21-25). In addition to the findings of the Nucleic Acids Research paper, Dr. Johnston described the success of SomaGenics and its collaborators from Roche and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals in using sshRNAs directed against HCV and formulated with lipid nanoparticles to achieve a large, sustained reduction in viral load in HCV-infected mice whose livers are largely populated with human hepatocytes (see SomaGenics press release, Sept. 20, 2011). With these results, SomaGenics' HCV program has successfully completed preclinical efficacy evaluation and is ready for clinical development.

Contact Information:

Dr. Brian Johnston
CEO, SomaGenics, Inc.
831-426-7700 x12

This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit

SOURCE SomaGenics, Inc.
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Discovery Labs Reports Third Quarter Financial Results and Progress on Lead Programs
2. Verenium Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2011
3. Interleukin Genetics Reports Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results
4. Cell Therapeutics, Inc. Reports Results of Annual Meeting of Shareholders
5. Nile Therapeutics Reports 2011 Third Quarter Financial Results
6. Pharmasset Reports Fiscal Year End 2011 Financial Results
7. Palatin Technologies, Inc. Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2012 Results; Teleconference and Webcast to be held on November 15, 2011
8. SeraCare Reports Fiscal Year 2011 and Fourth Quarter Financial Results
9. WaferGen Reports Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Announces New Commercialization Strategy
10. Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd. Reports Significant External Financing for Portfolio Companies
11. Biodel Reports Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2011 Financial Results
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing ... AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. ... AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the microbiome ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today announced that ... and invited investors to participate via webcast. ... 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time --> ... 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time --> ... NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... to maintain healthy metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is ... of Health (NIH), researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/12/2015)... LONDON , Nov. 11, 2015   ... and reliable analytical tools has been paving the ... and qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, ... sensors are being predominantly used in medical applications, ... and environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ... announced broader entry into the automotive market with a ... the pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, ... ideal for the automotive industry and will be implemented ... Europe , Japan , ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, ... today that it has released a new version of ... customers in North America have ... IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified ... are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):