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Regulus Therapeutics Advances Orphan Disease Portfolio For Alport Syndrome

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Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (RGLS: Quote) said it has advanced its orphan disease portfolio with the nomination of its second microRNA candidate for clinical development, RG-012, an anti-miR targeting microRNA-21 ("miR-21") to treat Alport Syndrome, a life-threatening, genetic kidney disease with no approved therapy.

RG-012 has a very favorable preclinical profile to date which Regulus believes supports clinical studies in man. RG-012 is a potent inhibitor of miR-21 in both in vitro and in vivo preclinical models.

The company said in a statement, "Subcutaneous administration of RG-012 has significantly reduced the rate of renal fibrosis and improved the lifespan of the mice up to 50% in a mouse model of Alport Syndrome, which we believe is a good surrogate for the human disease."

Regulus believes that these preclinical survival results may translate to a similar increased lifespan in human patients. Furthermore, RG-012 has been well tolerated to date with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile that supports the potential for a once/week dosing regimen.

Neil W. Gibson, Ph.D., Regulus' Chief Scientific Officer noted, "We believe that RG-012 may become a transformative treatment for patients with Alport Syndrome, a life-threatening, genetic disease with significant unmet medical need. We are currently performing additional preclinical studies and finalizing development plans for RG-012 and expect to enter clinical development in the first half of 2015."

Regulus is responsible for advancing RG-012 to proof-of-concept. At that stage of development, Regulus' strategic alliance partner, Sanofi, has an exclusive option exercisable after proof-of-concept to assume all costs, responsibilities and obligations for further development and commercialization of RG-012.

Sanofi would reimburse Regulus for a significant portion of its preclinical and clinical development costs and would pay Regulus an option exercise fee, provided Sanofi chooses to exercise its option on RG-012. Regulus is eligible to receive development and commercialization milestone payments and would have an option to co-promote in the U.S. or receive royalty payments in the mid 10% - 20% range.

Alport Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by mutations in the COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 genes that is characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss, and eye abnormalities.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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