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Somagenics Awarded 2-Year NIH grant to develop NGS microRNA Library Technology

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., April 2015 – Somagenics has been awarded a two-year NIH grant to develop its novel RealSeq™–T technology for targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) of small RNAs such as microRNA.

There is increasing interest in using NGS for miRNA biomarker discovery from biofluids such as blood plasma as well as for miRNA expression profiling and diagnostic purposes. There are many advantages to using NGS, including unlimited multiplexing, high sensitivity, sequence specificity and ability to detect miRNA sequence editing.  Targeted NGS brings these advantages to the quantification of any specific  group of sequences of interest.  However, sequence bias in the construction of the small RNA libraries used in sequencing has so far limited the utility of NGS, both targeted and non-targeted. This bias gives distorted small RNA profiles and renders some species of RNA that might be good biomarkers unavailable for accurate quantification.

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Three SomaGenics Publications Demonstrate Successful Inhibition of the Hepatitis C Virus by Therapeutic sshRNA™ and Confirm Mechanism of Action

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Dec. 19, 2014 — SomaGenics and collaborators have published exciting results on the efficacy of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics against the hepatitis C virus (HCV) based on the company's sshRNA™ platform. Using a chimeric mouse model with humanized liver that supports infection by HCV, SomaGenics scientists and their collaborators from Roche and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals demonstrated efficient sshRNA delivery to the liver, potent and long-lasting reduction in viral load, and strong evidence for a direct anti-viral effect by the sshRNAs. The studies were published in Molecular Therapy-Nucleic acids, in Gastroenterology, and in the Journal of Virology.

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SomaGenics Receives $2,275,000 in NIH Funding to Develop its RNAi Therapeutics and microRNA Technologies

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Dec. 18, 2014 – SomaGenics has recently been awarded $2,275,000 in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the NIH to further develop and expand its RNA-based technologies in the areas of wound healing, hepatitis delta virus (HDV) therapeutics, microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling, and next-generation sequencing.

SomaGenics' wound healing program is focused on treatment of chronic wounds of diabetics. These wounds, frequently occurring on the feet, are the major reason for amputations in the diabetic population and represent a large unmet medical need. SomaGenics' new NIH funds, in the form of a Phase II SBIR grant, will further the development of the company's combination of therapeutic RNAs, which are designed to restore the normal wound healing process in chronic diabetic wounds.

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