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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
5-Aug-2009

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Contact: Vicki Cohn
vcohn@liebertpub.com
914-740-2156
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
@LiebertOnline

New DNA and RNA aptamers offer unique therapeutic advantages

New Rochelle, NY, August 5, 2009--A novel class of drugs composed of single strands of DNA or RNA, called aptamers, can bind protein targets with a high strength and specificity and are currently in clinical development as treatments for a broad range of common diseases, as described in a comprehensive review article published online ahead of print in Oligonucleotides, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/oli

Aptamers offer several advantages compared to protein or small molecule drugs, most notably their ease of production, low risk of inducing an immune reaction in humans, and amenability to chemical modifications that enhance their drug-like properties, including improved stability and residence time in the bloodstream. Aptamer therapeutics presently in clinical development target diseases and applications such as macular degeneration, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and various types of cancer.

Kristina W. Thiel, PhD and Paloma H. Giangrande, PhD, from the University of Iowa, present a thorough review of aptamers and aptamer-based therapeutic strategies that have the highest likelihood of success. In the article entitled "Therapeutic Applications of DNA and RNA Aptamers," the authors describe the methods used to identify aptamers that specifically bind protein drug targets of interest, the types of modifications that have been made to aptamers to enhance their therapeutic potential, and the different types of aptamers that are currently in development. They also discuss the challenges that must still be overcome for aptamer technology to achieve its full potential.

"This is a comprehensive and timely review of aptamer development and therapeutic applications that our readers should enjoy," says John Rossi, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Oligonucleotides and Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope (Duarte, CA).

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Oligonucleotides, edited by John Rossi, PhD, and C.A. Stein, MD, PhD, from the Department of Oncology at Albert Einstein-Montefiore Cancer Center is an authoritative, peer-reviewed journal published quarterly in print and online that focuses on synthetic oligonucleotides, including RNA, DNA, and ribozymes, and their effects on gene expression at the RNA and DNA levels both in vitro and in vivo. It represents a forum for basic research and applied therapeutics for the purpose of developing new concepts and experimental approaches to understanding and modulating gene activity. Oligonucleotides is the official journal of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (www.myots.org). A complete table of contents and free sample issue may be viewed online at www.liebertpub.com/oli

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com), is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Human Gene Therapy, ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies, and DNA and Cell Biology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 60 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at www.liebertpub.com

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215
Phone: (914) 740-2100 (800) M-LIEBERT Fax: (914) 740-2101
www.liebertpub.com



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