Reglagene’s mission is to discover and develop low-cost and noninvasive therapeutic solutions that selectively cause damage in cancer cells while sparing healthy cells, effectively disrupting the chemotherapeutic space.
Pioneering the field
Reglagene’s technology is the product of 20 years of meticulous research from the labs of Professor Laurence Hurley at the University of Arizona. Professor Hurley discovered that unusual four stranded DNA structures called “quadruplexes,”.
Sensing an opportunity to use this discovery for the benefit of patients, Professor Hurley pioneered Quadruplex Master Switch Technology (QMST) to enable the development of medicines that fight disease through the control of gene expression.
In QMST's early days, finding both potent and selective medicines seemed impossible. In 2006 Professor Hurley dedicated his research to solving this problem. Since 2014 he has released a flurry of papers describing new quadraplex applications against many of the most important targets in cancer and other diseases. This latest research is the basis for the founding of Reglagene.
Reglagene is applying QMST to the development of Precision Chemotherapies These are orally administered medicines that target an overabundance of certain quadruplexes located in specific cancers. Through targeting these structures, Reglagene will facilitate abatement of life-threatening diseases such as Ewing Sarcoma and Glioblastoma.
DNA’s iconic double helix structure makes it the most widely recognized biological molecule. It is well known that DNA's shape and structure inform its function. DNA’s shape varies when under different physiological conditions. These changes in shape result in changes in function.
When gene expression (the reading of DNA to assemble proteins) begins, the double helix undergoes torsional stress and local unwinding, resulting in separation of the two DNA strands. In many genes, four-stranded DNA structures form, known as quadruplexes.
The natural occurrence of quadruplexes has been known for over 30 years, but their functional relevance was unknown until Reglagene’s founder and CSO Dr. Laurence Hurley discovered that quadruplexes in gene promoter regions (the part of the gene that initiates expression) serve as master control elements to regulate gene expression.