A microRNA IPO from Microlin Bio
RNA Interference (RNAi) is a breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells and is widely considered to be one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug development today. The importance of its discovery was recognized by the award of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
In an earlier article, we looked at RNAi drug developer, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, which recently filed for IPO. Another company which is focusing on microRNA and its role in oncology, Micorlin Bio, just announced their intent to raise $25 million through an IPO.
About Micorlin Bio
Very little information about Microlin Bio is available aside from what is contained in their S-1 filing. The Company has a website currently under construction with a domain that was registered in September 2013 to the CEO of Microlin Bio, Joe Hernandez, who is also the sole member of their board of directors. Mr. Hernandez has been involved in the management and founding of several early-stage biotechnology companies, including Affymetrix, Digene Corp. (now Qiagen NV), Prolias Technologies, and Signal Genetics. Microlin Bio was incorporated in Delaware in July 2013 and has no assets or revenues with an accumulated deficit so far of $5.5 million. As of September 30, 2013, Microlin Bio had not opened a bank account or funded the company. Instead, their Chief Executive Officer has paid, and continues to pay, certain bills on their behalf. All issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock are held by Mr. Hernandez (92.5%), and the Ohio State Innovation Foundation (OSIF) (7.5%).
In September 2013, Microlin Bio entered into agreements with the Ohio State Innovation Foundation (OSIF) to exclusively license a portfolio of approximately 100 issued and pending patents and patent applications covering numerous microRNAs. MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that regulate the expression of genes. Scientists have so far identified over 2,000 microRNAs and more than one-third of all human genes are predicted to be regulated by microRNAs. Microlin Bio has a pipeline of four miR-based therapeutic products (Lumiralin AMT, Omiralin MRT, Colomiralin AMT, and Promiralin MRT) and their companion MPT diagnostic tests (Lumira, Omira, Colomira, and Promira):
Provided they receive appropriate funding, Microlin Bio expects to complete pre-clinical development of their lead product candidate, Lumiralin, by the end of 2014. The developmental strategy for Lumiralin will entail outsourcing most functions to contract research organizations (CROs) and leveraging their relationship with Ohio State University (OSU) to conduct clinical trials in OSU’s academic labs and OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. According to OSU, the university has amassed one of the largest portfolios of microRNA technologies in the world. The success of the IPO will lie on the value investors choose to ascribe to Microlin Bio’s exclusive access to this patent portfolio.
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