RNA-based anticancer therapeutics

Value proposition

Cancer has a major impact on society in the United States and across the world. More than a third of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. In 2018, estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 600k people will die from this disease. Cancers have the ability to develop resistance to traditional therapies. Novel therapeutics for treating cancers is needed.

Technology

Duke inventors demonstrated that treatment with agonists for cytoplasmic RNA-sensing PRRs can induce immunogenic cell death of various cancer cells. Inventors also discovered other targets that when inhibited together can promote immunogenic cancer cell death. Based on their discoveries, inventors designed and generated a nuclease-resistant RNA molecule that can both activate RIG-I and inhibit immune regulatory microRNA (miR)-21. Repeated treatments with this molecule significantly increased the death of cancer cells and improved the survival of tumor-bearing mice compared with conventional RIG-1 agonists.

Other applications

  • Can be used as anticancer agents or oncolytic vaccines
  • Can be used as anti-viral agents
  • Can be used as vaccine adjuvants

Advantages

  • Novel therapeutic that is effective for a variety types of cancers.
  • Promising preclinical in vivo data.
  • Nuclease-resistant RNA molecules that can be used in vivo

Duke File (IDF) Number

T-006456

Inventor(s)

  • Lee, Jaewoo
  • Lee, Youngju

For more information please contact

College

School of Medicine (SOM)