The majority of the human genome is transcribed into RNAs that do not encode for the production of proteins. These non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play crucial biological roles in regulating cellular processes, making them an attractive therapeutic target for drug development for a range of diseases.
Non-coding RNAs can be classified based on their size, structure, function, or location. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are approximately 21-25 nucleotides in length and function by regulating gene expression. They bind to messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and inhibit their translation into a protein, therefore reducing the target protein’s presence in cells.
Based on research conducted by Resalis’ scientific founders, the company has elucidated the central role of a microRNA, miRNA-22 (miR-22), which is involved in a range of molecular pathways underlining metabolic disorders. Resalis’ co-founders discovered that miR-22 is a key player in the regulation of lipid metabolism and its levels were elevated in several types of metabolic disorders including obesity and fatty liver disease (FLD). In preclinical studies conducted in mice, pharmacological inhibition of miR-22 protected these animals from obesity and FLD and reversed hepatic steatosis and fat accumulation in obese animals, paving the way for the development of a first-in-class therapy for metabolic diseases.