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Onconase, a member of the pancreatic ribonuclease A superfamily, is currently in Phase III clinical trials for treatment of unresectable malignant mesothelioma. The anticancer effect of onconase may relate to its intracellular target, a non-coding RNA. Some non- coding RNAs are aberrantly expressed in cancer cells. This discovery is creating new interest in drugs that target RNA. Conjugating onconase to agents that recognize tumor associated molecules further increases its potency and specificity. Analysis of onconase activity when directed to two different internalizing and one noninternalizing receptor reveals that the ideal targeting agents would rapidly enter lysosomal compartments before onconase escaped to the cytosol. Antibody-onconase conjugates are effective in preclinical models, cause little non-specific toxicities in mice and have favorable formulation properties. Understanding the reason for their potency coupled with understanding novel RNA-based mechanisms of tumor cell death will lead to improved variations of targeted onconase.
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.