RNA Blockade to Treat Triple Negative Breast Cancer

(PHILADELPHIA, 14June 2019): The US National Cancer Institute has awarded Bound Therapeutics LLC a Small Business Technology Transfer grant starting 15 June for $300,000 to develop "microRNA-21 Blockade of Triple Negative Breast Cancer."

"Triple negative breast cancer strikes younger women, tragically killing half the patients within 4 years," said Dr. Yuan-Yuan Jin, Chief Operating Officer of Bound Therapeutics LLC. "Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the current standard of care for triple negative breast cancer."

"To provide effective molecular therapy that will keep patients alive with a good quality of life, we have designed a cancer cell-targeted drug that will block a tiny strand of ribonucleic acid, called microRNA-21," explained Dr. Eric Wickstrom, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Thomas Jefferson University, a partner in the award.

Dr. Miguel Castro, President and CEO of Bio-Synthesis Inc., another research partner, said that "The RNA analogs and peptide analogs that we are making to treat triple negative breast cancer cells are extraordinarily specific and safe in mammalian models."

Our clinical collaborator, Dr. Edith Mitchell, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, commented that "Patients with triple negative disease have limited treatment options compared to patients with more common forms of breast cancer. There is an urgent need for targeted treatments in this area." Dr. Mitchell serves as the Director of the Jefferson Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities in diagnosis, treatment, and survival of patients with different ancestries, and is a past President of the National Medical Association.

The funds will enable Bound Therapeutics and its partners Bio-Synthesis Inc. and Thomas Jefferson University to test their drug design in a triple negative breast cancer mouse model with a normal immune system. Early results suggest that microRNA-21 blockade decloaks triple negative breast cancer cells to enable attack by immune cells.

For more information, contact Dr. Yuan-Yuan Jin, 609-969-8259, YYJin@BoundTherapeutics.com.