Promising Multiple Sclerosis Research Partnership Between Biogen Idec, Regulus Renewed

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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Regulus Therapeutics

Biogen IdecRegulus Therapeutics, Inc., a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research and development of experimental drugs that target microRNAs, recently announced that it has signed a contract to work together with Biogen Idec. Under Regulus’ microMarkers™ project, the two companies will be collaborating on research efforts to discover microRNAs that can serve as biomarkers for multiple sclerosis (MS).

This new collaborative research venture will center on studying a substantial amount of blood samples from a group of individuals with MS. These patients were previously prescribed a Biogen Idec MS treatment designed to recognize the probability of microRNA signatures. The new contract between the two drug developers entitles Regulus to an upfront payment of $2 million as well as a series of separate payments during the course of the agreement after completion of particular research milestones.

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Regulus TherapeuticsThe two companies launched their partnership two years ago, in August 2012. Regulus utilized its patented technology to obtain, describe, and analyze these microRNAs from small blood samples in order to build an extensive profile of more than 400 samples from patients diagnosed with MS, which they then compared to those from healthy individuals. The outcome of these investigations formed the foundation of the scope of their new tandem research with Biogen Idec.

The Chief Business Officer and General Counsel of Regulus Therapeutics, David L. Szekeres, said that he is optimistic about his company’s renewed partnership with Biogen Idec on advancing their microMarkers™ projects. The two companies’ relationship has allowed substantial progress in microRNA research, and both are hopeful that it would also further Biogen Idec’s goals in finding answers and solutions to treating MS symptoms and halting the progression of the disease.

In other recent news, biopharmaceutical company FPRT Bio has also been devoting its efforts to finding a solution to neurodegenerative diseases like MS. FPRT Bio is working on an experimental anti-inflammatory drug called XPro1595 that could treat the underlying issue of inflammation in Multiple sclerosis

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