Therapy Areas: Diabetes
Rosalind Franklin University signs genetic research collaboration with Exicure
14 February 2020 -

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFU) on Thursday announced its plans to develop new therapeutics for genetic diseases under a research collaboration with Chicagoland biotech company Exicure Inc.

The initial partnership will focus on genetic diseases using Exicure's spherical nucleic acid (SNA) architecture, which is designed to unlock the potential of therapeutic oligonucleotides in a wide range of cells and tissues.

Under the partnership, RFU's Center for Genetic Diseases will work closely with Exicure, which is developing a new class of immunomodulatory and gene-silencing drugs against validated targets. It is estimated that more than 10,000 rare diseases that affect millions of people across the globe are caused by an error in a single gene in the human DNA, according to the World Health Organization.

Dr Michelle Hastings, the Center director and an expert in RNA biology and regulation of gene expression, has developed patented antisense oligonucleotide technologies for multiple disorders. The Antisense technology is based on a therapeutic platform that has potential applications to a large number of human conditions, several of which are under investigation in the Hastings lab.

Founded in Chicago in 1912, RFU encompasses the Chicago Medical School, College of Health Professions, College of Pharmacy, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and the university is recognized for its research in areas including neuroscience, brain-related diseases, inherited disorders, diabetes, obesity, and gait and balance.