Independent French research-based pharmaceutical company Servier announced that it is extending its drug research collaboration with biopharmaceutical firm miRagen Therapeutics by two years to 2016.
The partnership will continue to discover, develop, and market microRNA-targeting drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The companies will pursue preclinical research and development on a number of cardiovascular programs, including miR-208 and miR-15.
Servier will be responsible for the global clinical development and marketing of microRNA therapeutic candidates resulting from the research collaboration in all countries, with the exception of the U.S. and Japan where miRagen holds all rights.
William S. Marshall, President and CEO of miRagen Therapeutics, Inc., said, “Extending our research collaboration with Servier highlights our collective dedication to harnessing the power of microRNAs to develop transformative therapies for patients in need. We believe that our microRNA therapeutics platform combined with Servier’s extensive knowledge and commitment to cardiovascular disease will allow us to deliver breakthrough therapies that improve human health.”
MicroRNAs could be targeted in order to control biologic and disease processes. Belonging to a key class of small RNAs encoded in the genome, microRNAs regulate gene expression. MicroRNAs are implicated in many disease processes and are considered to be single molecular entities that influence the expression of fundamental regulatory pathways.
“The two year extension to our research collaboration reflects both the strength of our relationship with miRagen and our shared commitment to improve the lives of patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. We look forward to continuing our collaboration to advance microRNA-based therapeutics into clinical development,” said Dr. Jean-Paul Vilaine, Director of Servier’s Cardiovascular Research Unit.
The companies first collaborated in 2011, when miRagen signed into a License and Collaboration Agreement with Servier which focused first on two targets (miR-208 and miR-15/195) and later included an additional unnamed microRNA-based therapy target.