Oligonucleotide Suppression Of Let-7 Binding By H19 To Reduce Sensitivity To Inflammation

Reference number 11057

Sectors: Medical research

Industries: Medical research

The technology relates to novel oligonucleotides that bind to H19, displacing Let-7 miRNAs, leading to a reduction in inflammation in muscle tissues, and consequently a reduction in muscle wasting.

Proposed use

Reduction of the inflammatory response in muscle tissues to reduce inflammation-induced muscle loss

Problem addressed

Inflammatory signalling contributes to the loss of muscle mass in older individuals and those with chronic conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). This is closely linked to increased mortality and greater dependence on care in these patients. Inflammation-associated muscle wasting can also occur in response to acute critical illness, not only leading to increased mortality but also contributing to prolonged stays in the intensive care unit (ICU) and long term sequalae of critical illness. In order to address these issues, one approach is to suppress the muscle inflammatory response. The present invention provides a mechanism of doing so; novel oligonucleotides that bind to the H19 gene, displacing Let-7 miRNAs, and downregulating the expression of Myc and the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. This system appears to operate in all three muscle types (cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscle), providing the potential to not only combat skeletal muscle wasting, but also cardiac diseases such as atherosclerotic lesions and maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy.

Technology overview

The key features of this technology include:

  • 2 oligonucleotides that bind specifically to H19
  • Blocking of the interaction between H19 and Let-7 miRNAs, to reduce myc activity and inflammation, thereby reducing skeletal muscle loss
  • A targeted therapeutic approach due to the restricted nature of H19 expression
  • Potential future applications in cardiac and smooth muscle wasting


  • Reduced inflammatory response in all three types of muscle tissue
  • Reduction in inflammation-induced muscle wasting
  • Reduction in mortality, dependence on care and length of hospital stay
  • Targeted therapeutic approach

Development stage

  • Background data obtained showing that this system is an important component of several pathological conditions
  • Preliminary data showing that the approach works in cells and in vivo

Intellectual Property information

A priority application at the UKIPO has been filed to protect the novel oligonucleotides. The application is currently pending.


Dr Paul Kemp

Reader in the Molecular Biology of Muscles
Faculty of Medicine, National Heart & Lung Institute

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Dr Amritha Nair

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Senior Executive, Faculty of Medicine

Dr Amritha Nair is an Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Senior Executive in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. Amritha works across the entire innovation lifecycle from assessment, protection, and management of Intellectual property; marketing of technologies primed for commercialisation and supporting commercialisation via licensing or spinouts. Amritha also supports researchers in their bids for access to translational funding. Amritha manages an extensive IP portfolio, mainly focussed on therapeutics and diagnostics. Prior roles include innovation consulting for small and medium enterprises and handling the drug development and start-up activities for a private equity backed life science development group in Houston, USA. Amritha has a PhD in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA and a MSc in Human Genetics from Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India.

Contact Amritha

[email protected]

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