Servier and miRagen Therapeutics have extended their research collaboration by adding microRNA-92 as a new therapeutic target.

Under the extended collaboration, which runs through to September 2019, the companies aim to begin testing MRG-110 in humans within a year.

MRG-110 is reported to prevent the activity of microRNA-92, which has been exhibited as a regulator of new blood vessel creation in multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications.

It can be useful in treating ischemic disease, cardiovascular disease and certain other vascular flow-related diseases.

Servier R&D VP and cardiovascular and metabolism therapeutic innovation poles head Isabelle Tupinon-Mathieu said: “We are highly excited to pursue our collaboration with miRagen, with the ambitious goal to develop a first-in-class compound in the field of regenerative therapy with what we believe has the potential to restore the microvascular density.

“We really feel that, as a leader in cardiology, we have to use our expertise to find innovative answers to cover important medical needs.”

Servier leads the global clinical development and potential commercialisation of MRG-110 along with other microRNA therapeutic product candidates developed through the collaboration worldwide, except the US and Japan where miRagen holds all rights.

"We really feel that, as a leader in cardiology, we have to use our expertise to find innovative answers to cover important medical needs."

Following the amendment, Servier has returned the rights to certain other preclinical programmes to miRagen.

miRagen Therapeutics president and CEO William S. Marshall said: “We are very excited to move into the next phase of our collaboration focused on the development of MRG-110, which we believe has potential applications in heart failure, as well as other diseases that would benefit from enhanced revascularisation.

“We believe the activity of MRG-110 in pre-clinical testing indicates the potential for a number of differentiated therapeutic applications for microRNA-92 inhibitors such as MRG-110.”

In October 2011, both companies signed a licence and collaboration agreement to advance microRNA-based therapies in cardiovascular disease, which have been extended multiple times.

The latest amendment provides Servier with an exclusive licence to research, develop, and commercialise RNA-targeting therapeutics for one target in the cardiovascular field.

It also provides right to obtain such an exclusive licence for another target to be named by Servier by a specified date.

On the other hand, miRagen is entitled to receive research and development milestone payments, commercial milestone payments and royalties on the sale of the products developed under this collaboration.