Saw this tonight, thought others may be interested
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The National Cancer Institute is looking to license or co-develop a microRNA sequence that it said can enhance the capacity of T-lymphocytes to recognize tumors in several kinds of cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health.
NIH said the technology, listed under patent application No. 60/940,172, is the “first reported use” of an miRNA gene to treat disease.
According to the agency, NCI discovered that genetically engineering T-lymphocytes with the gene, called miR-181a, “dramatically augmented the function of poorly responsive human tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and TCR-engineered peripheral blood lymphocytes, resulting in potent anti-tumor reactivity.”
It also said that in a mouse model, miR-181a, “increased the function of self/tumor-specific CD8+ T cells enabling effective tumor destruction in the absence of vaccination or exogenous cytokines that were otherwise essential requirements.”
Pre-clinical work on miR-181a has been completed and clinical studies are being planned, the NIH said.
The IP is up for exclusive or non-exclusive license, NCI said.
NCI also said that its Surgery Branch seeks statements of interest from parties that want to “develop, evaluate, or commercialize the therapeutic use of microRNA-181a in the adoptive immunotherapy of cancer.”