DNA to RNA to protein. This is the rhythm of life.
Virtually all cancers are caused by aberrant changes in gene expression. Upon confrontation with therapy, even more genetic changes can occur to enable cancer’s survival.
Most medicines work by targeting proteins. But for many of cancer’s worst actors, this approach does not work. These protein targets are labeled as “intractable” as they do not easily succumb to traditional methods for the discovery of new medicines. The encouraging news is that genes for many of these protein targets are under the control of DNA quadruplexes. What this means is that if the quadruplex can be manipulated at the gene level, then therapeutic solutions can be envisioned where none existed before.
It is commonly known that DNA exists as a double helix. When gene expression begins, the helix undergoes torsional stress and local unwinding, resulting in separation of the DNA strands. In many genes, four-stranded DNA structures form called 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 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.
Why Epigenetic Medicines?
Many of the genes under quadruplex control are on a short list of major drivers of deadly diseases but are not addressable by conventional drug development technologies. Reglagene's QMST approach delivers orally administered Epigenetic Medicines to meet this challenge.
Epigenetic Medicines regulate the first step in gene expression, a process known as transcription. An analogous technology for controlling transcription is found in gene editing; however, unlike gene editing technologies, Reglagene's Epigenetic Medicines are orally administered. In addition, Epigenetic Medicines cost less to manufacture, are easier to deliver to the tumor site, and have better-traveled development and regulatory pathways.