Rosetta Genomics, Ltd announced a collaboration with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to identify microRNAs involved in the progression of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that may be used as potential drug targets.

Rosetta Genomics has access to the majority of known human and viral microRNAs. From this strong intellectual property position, the company has developed highly sensitive, proprietary technologies to detect and quantify microRNAs. These technologies are based on publicly known human and viral microRNAs in addition to Rosetta Genomics proprietary microRNAs, which are yet to be published. Leveraging Rosetta Genomics' extensive know-how in microRNAs and proprietary technologies, this collaboration will seek to determine the role of microRNAs in HIV viral replication, and their potential to act as novel drug targets for future therapy.

In a study published last year (Zhang et al. Nature Medicine, 2007), researchers showed that microRNAs are involved in suppressing HIV replication' and keeping it latent. Through this collaboration, Rosetta Genomics and the NIH aim to deepen the understanding of the role microRNAs play in the HIV life cycle and pathogenesis.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recently discovered, naturally occurring, small RNAs that act as master regulators and have the potential to form the basis for a new class of diagnostics and therapeutics. Since many diseases are caused by the abnormal activity of proteins, the ability to selectively regulate protein activity through microRNAs could provide the means to treat a wide range of human diseases. In addition, microRNAs have been shown to have different expression in various pathological conditions. As a result, these differences may provide for a novel diagnostic strategy for many diseases.

Rosetta Genomics is a leader in the field of microRNA. Founded in 2000, the company's integrative research platform combining bioinformatics and state-of-the-art laboratory processes has led to the discovery of hundreds of biologically validated novel human microRNAs.