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AsiaTIDES: Oligonucleotide and Peptide Research, Technology and Product Development


Where Global Oligonucleotide and Peptide Leaders Connect to Share Groundbreaking Science and Form Successful Business Collaborations

February 21 - 23, 2017 · Kyoto, Japan

2013 Speaker Interview

2013 Speaker Interview

Arthur A. Levin, Ph.D.

2013 Interview with: Arthur A. Levin, Ph.D.
Chief Development Officer
Santaris A/S, USA and Denmark

What is the dream for oligonucleotide therapeutics?

The dream of oligonucleotide therapeutics has always been to employ Watson and Crick base-pairing rules to rationally design a whole new class of therapeutics on the basis of sequence and that oligonucleotide therapeutics would add to small molecules and monoclonal antibodies as a third treatment modality. That dream started as a way to target messenger RNAs and has now expanded to in microRNAs and in the near future we can expect new families of RNAs will become targets for oligonucleotide-based therapeutics as we begin to appreciate that importance of long non-coding RNAs. Using oligonucleotide therapeutics allows control over disease processes like infectious diseases, inflammatory diseases, cardio-metabolic disorders, cancer and rare genetic disorders that was unimaginable a few years ago.

What have been the most important achievements in the field in the past year?

2011 was one of the most exciting years for the advancement of oligonucleotide therapeutics. There were a record number of oligonucleotide drugs in clinical trials, numerous research breakthroughs were reported in scientific journals and a many new partnerships were formed. Exciting new clinical data were reported by leaders in the field using various modes of action and chemistries. In the last year, clinical activity was demonstrated in therapeutic indications across a broad range of diseases including hepatitis C, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, hyperlipidemia, amyloidosis, scarring, acute renal injury, and thrombosis. It is certainly an exciting time for the field and the future of oligonucleotide therapeutics.

What will be the most exciting news that you will present in your talk at AsiaTIDES?

The exciting news that I will be presenting at AsiaTIDES is the ability of oligonucleotide therapeutics to produce therapeutic activity by targeting non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs. This is certainly important news for the field as it expands the field of oligonucleotides beyond mRNAs. These groundbreaking data are really the first time the industry has seen activity of an oligonucleotide targeting a microRNA in human subjects - a break through for the oligonucleotide industry as a whole.

What are you most looking forward to hearing from other AsiaTIDES speakers?

I'm looking forward to hearing about new areas of oligonucleotide research and development, advancements in the way we target diseases and share knowledge with colleagues to help continue to make advancements in the oligonucleotide industry.