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Modified DNA backbone enables success of existing and novel oligonucleotide therapeutics

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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IMAGE: Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is an authoritative, peer-reviewed journal published bimonthly in print and online that focuses on cutting-edge basic research, therapeutic applications, and drug development using nucleic acids or related... view more

Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, November 13, 2014--The two U.S. FDA approved oligonucleotide-based drugs on the market both have a modified chemical backbone made of phosphorothioates. The therapeutic advantages of the phosphorothioate group and the new types of gene expression-regulation oligonucleotide drugs that it is enabling are detailed in a Review article in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers. The article is available free on the Nucleic Acid Therapeutics website until December 13, 2014.

In the article "Phosphorothioates, Essential Components of Therapeutic Oligonucleotides," Fritz Eckstein, Max-Planck-Institut für Experimentelle Medizin, Göttingen, Germany, describes how the chemical and biochemical properties of this significant nucleic acid modification have made DNA suitable for use as therapeutic agents. Initial applications focused on cleaving the mRNA product of genes to block protein production. Dr. Eckstein explores novel applications including microRNA and long non-coding RNA targets and the use of decoy oligonucleotides.

"We will advance the field of nucleic acid therapeutics by looking to key opinion leaders to educate and initiate the experienced and newcomers alike. In this review, Dr. Eckstein has produced a tour de force concerning the therapeutic application of phosphorothioates," says Executive Editor Graham C. Parker, PhD, The Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI.

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Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is under the editorial leadership of Co-Editors-in-Chief Bruce A. Sullenger, PhD, Duke Translational Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, and C.A. Stein, MD, PhD, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; and Executive Editor Graham C. Parker, PhD.

About the Journal

Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is an authoritative, peer-reviewed journal published bimonthly in print and online that focuses on cutting-edge basic research, therapeutic applications, and drug development using nucleic acids or related compounds to alter gene expression. Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is the official journal of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Nucleic Acid Therapeutics website.

About the Society

The Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society is an open, non-profit forum to foster academia- and industry-based research and development of oligonucleotide therapeutics. The society brings together the expertise from different angles of oligonucleotide research to create synergies and to bring the field of oligonucleotides to its full therapeutic potential.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 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, Applied In Vitro Toxicology, 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 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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