Gene silencing drug prevents heart failure

A gene silencing drug being developed by Regulus Therapeutics blocked the microRNA miR-21 and helped prevent heart failure in mice. The research also helped highlight the promise of RNA technology, which has been attracting big pharma's interest and investment dollars.

Researchers were able to demonstrate that heart failure patients have three to five times the normal load of miR-21. And they said that providing the experimental drug antagomir to mice helped prevent the ailment as well as improve the condition of mice with heart failure. Stefan Engelhardt led the research at the University of Wuerzburg in Germany.

"We view this new study as a landmark event in the advancement of microRNA therapeutics as a new class of innovative medicines," Regulus Chief Executive Kleanthis Xanthopoulos, said in a statement. "We believe that this is the first study to clearly demonstrate therapeutic efficacy for targeting microRNAs in an animal model of human disease."

- read the story from Medical News Today