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'ncRNA 발현 조절' 28-7社, 8275만弗 시리즈A 유치 - 바이오스펙테이터

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'ncRNA 발현 조절' 28-7社, 8275만弗 시리즈A 유치

입력 2019-05-15 06:10 수정 2019-05-15 06:10

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LIN28 억제 저분자 화합물로 ncRNA(non-coding RNA) 발현 조절..종양 억제 miRNA(micro RNA) Let-7을 정상화

미국 항암제 개발회사 트웬티에잇-세븐 테라퓨틱스(Twentyeight-seven Therapeutics)는 지난 9일(현지 시간) 소피노바 파트너스(Sofinnova Partners)로부터 1500만달러를 투자받으며, 총 8275만달러 규모의 시리즈A 투자를 유치했다고 밝혔다.

2018년 11월에 진행된 시리즈A에는 MPM 캐피탈(MPM Capital), 노바티스 벤처 펀드(Novartis Venture Fund), 존슨 앤 존슨 이노베이션(Johnson & Johnson Innovation), 버텍스 벤처스 HC(Vertex Ventures HC), 롱우드 펀드(Longwood Fund), 아스텔라스 벤처 매니지먼트(Astellas Venture Management)가 참여했다.

▲LIN28/Let-7 경로의 기전(doi: 10.3389/fgene.2017.00031)

트웬티에잇-세븐은 RMPs(ncRNA modulating Proteins)인 LIN28을 억제하는 저분자 화합물로 항암제를 개발하고 있다. LIN28은 ncRNA이자 종양 억제 miRNA(micro RNA)인 Let-7의 분해를 촉진한다.

▲LIN28, Let-7의 관계(doi: 10.3389/fgene.2017.00031)

LIN28은 암세포에서 높은 수준으로 발현해 세포증식을 촉진한다고 알려졌다. LIN28을 억제하면 Let-7이 정상수준으로 회복해 암세포 증식을 억제할 수 있을 것으로 트웬티에잇-세븐은 기대한다.

트웬티에잇-세븐의 아이디어는 설립자 중 한 명인 조지 데일리(George Daley) 하버드 의학대학원 전 학장의 실험실에서 시작했다. 데일리 실험실의 연구진은 LIN28을 억제하면 Let-7을 활성화할 수 있다는 것을 발견했다. 트웬티에잇-세븐은 ncRNA 연구를 바탕으로 암 외에도 다양한 질병을 대상으로 치료제를 개발할 계획이다.

인간이 지닌 30억개의 염기서열 중 99%는 단백질을 발현하지 않는다. jRNA(Junk RNA)로도 불렸던 ncRNA는 발현하는 단백질이 없어서 연구 대상에서 제외됐다. ENCODE(Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) 프로젝트를 시작한 이후 전체 염기서열의 80%가 RNA로 전사하는 것이 알려지면서, ncRNA의 기능과 질병 연관 가능성이 주목받고 있다.

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