Public Release: 

Inaugural meeting of Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society highlights RNAi & antisense

NY Academy of Sciences sponsors symposium September 15-18

New York Academy of Sciences

Oligonucleotide-based gene-silencing techniques and nucleic acid¡Vbased therapeutics are emerging as important tools for genomics research and drug development. These technologies have the ability to target specific genes involved in the pathophysiology and etiology of various diseases. One result might be the production of safe, effective medicines devoid of harmful side effects for diseases such as HIV, macular degeneration, respiratory viral infections, and various types of cancer.

To highlight the potential of oligonucleotide therapeutics and to create a forum in which top investigators from academia and industry can disseminate their latest findings, the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (OTS) will hold its inaugural meeting at Rockefeller University on September 15-18. The meeting is sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences in collaboration with OTS, with support from the National Cancer Institute and other companies.

The three-day meeting will feature presentations by prominent researchers working on a range of different therapeutic oligonucleotide classes (i.e., RNAi, CpG, antisense, and others). Presentations will cover strategies for finding and validating - or -invalidating oligonucleotide drug targets, both at the molecular and physiological levels. Reports will include descriptions of chemistries for building better oligonucleotide compounds; methods of drug delivery; and ways of harnessing or eliminating the immunomodulatory effects of oligonucleotides.

In addition, panel discussions featuring industrial scientists, short talks by junior investigators, and poster sessions will foster collaboration among researchers from academia and industry. The meeting will suggest how basic science, drug discovery, and preclinical and clinical research can be integrated and survey the various technologies and their applications in both scientific research and as therapeutic agents.

Investigators will report on the latest advances in:

  • methods of RNA targeting
  • delivery of nucleic acid-based reagents and therapies
  • immuno-modulation by nucleic acids
  • identification and validation of targets and systems for preclinical studies
  • novel oligonucleotides derivatives
  • clinical studies and industry-driven therapeutic strategies.

Lastly, the meeting will address the future of basic research and clinical applications of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics and technologies.

The meeting has been organized by: Fritz Eckstein, Max-Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine; Alan M. Gewirtz, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Gunther Hartmann, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich; Ryszard Kole, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Art Krieg, Coley Pharmaceutical Group, Inc.; Bernard LeBleu, University of Montpellier; Brett Monia, ISIS Pharmaceuticals; John Rossi, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope; Georg Sczakiel, University of Lubeck; Cy Stein, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Thomas Tuschl, The Rockefeller University.

The proceedings of this conference will be published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

For a preview report of this meeting, visit


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