MultiCell Technologies Files Patent Application Covering New Class of RNA Therapeutics

PR Newswire

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- MultiCell Technologies, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: MCET.OB) has filed a U.S. provisional patent application concerning composition of matter, biological targets, mechanism of action, methods and formulations to achieve targeted tumor cell death. 

This patent application describes a novel class of very small noncoding double stranded RNA molecules (VSRNAs) which interfere with the basic homeostatic cellular processes in tumor cells. VSRNAs are of molecular size less than 10 bps, yet are surprisingly capable in their ability to affect the metabolism, viability and proliferative rate of tumor cells consistent with a mechanism of action that bypasses completely, or in part, the canonical known pathways and steps of RNA recognition and RNA interference.  

In contrast to other species of RNAs, VSRNAs can induce cell death through pyroptosis; a specific biological process that also involves pro-inflammatory cytokine production.  Pyroptosis results from the capability of VSRNAs to suppress or modify the amount of mRNA expressing various endogenous genes linked to the metabolism, proliferation and viability of cells, thus inducing a state of cellular stress that results in deployment of mediators of innate immunity.  VSRNAs described in this Application exert a preferential biological activity on certain tumor cells while showing no effect on normal, non-transformed cells.  

Since cancer cells are highly metabolically active, they are more reliant on key housekeeping molecules for survival as opposed to normal cells.  Through mobilization of stress pathways and non-canonical RNA sensors, VSRNAs have demonstrated the capability of activating the NF-kB pathway and Ca2+ release, resulting in (1) secretion of pre-formed cytokines stored in cell vesicles, and (2) de novo synthesis of cytokines and chemokines.  VSRNAs can be formulated, attached or integrated within delivery vehicles that target or express selectively their payload in desired cell types resulting in both immediate and long-term therapeutic effects against cancer.

MultiCell is evaluating MCT-485, a VSRNA, in animal models of hepatocellular carcinoma.  Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of primary liver cancer, and is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide.  Over 1 million cases of hepatocellular carcinoma are reported annually.  Current approaches for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma are of limited efficacy.  MCT-485, possessing both oncolytic and immune activating properties, could be superior to currently marketed therapies by providing a more robust activation of immunity, and a more global and longer lasting anti-tumor effect.  Additionally, due to its unique mechanism of action, MCT-485 could prove effective in killing other types of cancers.  MultiCell plans to initiate similar studies in relevant in vitro and animal models for other major cancers.

About MCT-485

MultiCell Technologies' MCT-485 is a very small noncoding double stranded RNA (VSRNA), and the first of a family of prospective cancer therapeutics.  MultiCell owns rights to several issued U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications related to MCT-485 and other RNAs.

About MultiCell Technologies, Inc.

MultiCell Technologies, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics and discovery tools for the treatment of neurological disorders, hepatic disease and cancer.  For more information about MultiCell Technologies, please visit http://www.multicelltech.com.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Any statements in this press release about MultiCell's expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not historical facts and are forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act").  These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "believe", "will", "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "intend", "plan", "forecast", "could", and "would". MultiCell bases these forward- looking statements on current expectations about future events.  They involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement.  Some of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or projections in the forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to, the risk that we might not achieve our anticipated clinical development milestones, receive regulatory approval, or successfully commercialize our products as expected, the market for our products will not grow as expected, and the risk that our products will not achieve expectations.  For additional information about risks and uncertainties MultiCell faces, see documents that MultiCell files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including MultiCell's report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2012, and all of MultiCell's quarterly and other periodic SEC filings.  MultiCell claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements under the Act and assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release or to reflect the occurrence of subsequent events.

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