PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AUM LifeTech, Inc. has successfully developed multiple applications for its next generation FANA RNA silencing technology to advance biomedical research and therapeutic development. Conventional RNA silencing technologies like siRNAs and shRNAs have a lot of issues some of which include off target effects, toxicity, less potency, poor stability and most importantly they need transfection agents or expression vector systems for delivery into cells or animal models. AUM's FANA technology is an effective solution to these challenges in a highly cost effective way. New encouraging data on the use of FANA RNA silencing technology was recently presented by several of AUM's academic collaborators from North America and Europeat the annual Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (OTS) meeting in Montreal, Canada. "AUM is an incredibly collaborative company and we are very happy that our scientific collaborators, who are very well known in their respective fields, presented their promising work at the OTS meeting using our technology. We are very proud of our self-delivering FANA RNA silencing platform and its unique ability to work through different biological mechanisms. The capability to target different types of RNAs including mRNA, microRNA and long non-coding RNA makes FANA a valuable RNA silencing and regulation tool. Our revolutionary products can be used to explore and solve complex genetic biomedical research problems with extremely simple protocols," stated Veenu Aishwarya, founder and Chief Executive Officer of AUM LifeTech. Considering the success of its RNA silencing technology, in addition to its therapeutic goals, AUM has recently made its FANA antisense technology available to basic and translational research community with a hope to advance genetic research and help save biomedical scientists significant amount of time, money and resources.
At the OTS meeting, in a study from University College London, UK, Dr. Haiyan Zhou showed high specificity and efficacy of AUM LifeTech's FANA antisense technology for allele specific silencing in certain degenerative disorders of the nervous system (neurodegenerative disorders). This study for hereditary sensory neuropathy type 1 was done in collaboration with Dr. Francesco Muntoni. Dr. Muntoni is a Chair of Paediatric Neurology at University College London's Institute of Child Health and has lead several clinical trials for rare diseases. "We work on several neuromuscular genetic diseases affecting children with a focus on gene discovery and translational applications. The self-delivery aspect of AUM's FANA technology is very beneficial especially for RNA silencing and regulation studies. We see FANA RNA silencing and regulation technology as a great research tool with a huge potential to be used in pre-clinical and potentially in future clinical application across a wide spectrum of genetic diseases," commented Dr. Muntoni.
In another study done in collaboration with Dr. John Lewis, the Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research at theUniversity of Alberta, Canada they regulated the progression of human cancer metastasis using FANA based antagomirs against a panel of miRNAs. Dr. Lian Willetts, the lead author from his group performed an in vivo whole human miRNAome screen for miRNAs that mediate key steps in metastasis. Dr. Lian identified miRNAs that regulate discrete but overlapping pathways that drive tumor cell invasion. The group showed that gymnotically delivered (self-delivered) FANA antigomirs targeted against miR130b reduced cancer cell motility and blocked cancer cell attachment to vascular walls in vivo. "Metastasis is what kills prostate cancer patients, and considering this new encouraging data I am excited about the possibility of using AUM's FANA antisense technology to learn more about the key pathways that regulate prostate cancer progression, and to develop new drugs to block the spread of prostate cancer," stated Dr. Lewis.
Dr. Masad Damha, who has worked extensively on the development of FANA chemistry, added, "FANA oligos serve as excellent tools for RNA silencing experiments and avoid the use of transfection reagents because of their self-delivery capability especially in difficult to transfect cells. They are non-toxic and highly potent. This helps save time and money which is especially beneficial for the biomedical research community." Dr. Damha is also the James McGill Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at McGill University in Canada.
Dr. Damha was also involved in another recent study with Dr. Jean-Christophe Leroux who is a full Professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The team showed a certain variation of FANA oligos effectively downregulated both mRNA and protein expression of Bcl-2 in a difficult-to-transfect polarized epithelial cell monolayer in the absence of any delivery agents. They compared these FANA oligos with conventional siRNAs and other oligo chemistries and found FANA oligos to be most potent, efficient and caused no toxicity. "The FANA approach has a substantial potential for development of an effective treatment for gastrointestinal diseases especially inflammatory bowel diseases," he further added. This study was recently published in Nature Publishing Group's Molecular Therapy—Nucleic Acids.
About AUM LifeTech, Inc: At AUM LifeTech we are taking important steps towards development of personalized medicine at the genetic level. We are working on the development of next generation RNA silencing and regulation therapeutics for a wide spectrum of genetic diseases. In addition, AUM is also making its RNA silencing FANA technology available to scientists and researchers for basic and translational research. For research use, AUM LifeTech provides FANA antisense oligonucleotides for RNA silencing and regulation studies through its subsidiary AUM BioTech. AUM LifeTech is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at the University City Science Center's Port business incubator. For more information visit: www.aumlifetech.com