Biogazelle today announced that it has received €1.1M in funding from the agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) in Flanders to leverage its cancer therapy development program, focused on silencing long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs).
CSO and co-founder Jo Vandesompele comments on the company’s focus on lncRNAs: "Biogazelle always had a special interest in the non-coding part of our transcriptome. Many non-coding RNA genes now appear to play an important role in various diseases. To better understand this, we have developed LNCarta, a proprietary database with predicted lncRNA functions. Further, unlike protein-coding mRNAs, lncRNAs have many features that make them excellent therapeutic targets. Their remarkable cell type specific expression is just one example, which helps in developing safe treatments with minimal side effects."
Vandesompele also emphasizes the large potential of targeting RNA molecules for cancer treatment: "RNA targeted therapy is one of the most promising therapeutic modalities emerging. We have successfully tested various RNA silencing technologies to inhibit lncRNAs. The first studies in scientific literature show promising potential for lncRNAs as anti-cancer therapy.’’
Biogazelle's cancer therapeutic program started last year with a €2M investment and the establishment of a new research infrastructure and multidisciplinary research team. The facility includes a state-of-the-art cell culture and functional genomics platform.