PRINCETON, NJ and REHOVOT, ISRAEL--(Marketwired - Nov 7, 2013) - Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (NASDAQ: ROSG), a leading developer and provider of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics, announces receipt of a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) related to U.S. Patent Application No. 13/481,105 titled "Targeting microRNAs for the Treatment of Liver Cancer."
This allowance is for a therapeutic patent that protects a method for treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, and covers the administration of a compound comprising a modified oligonucleotide that is an anti-miR-222. In addition, various modifications of the nucleotide are claimed. There is an additional claim which refers to the reduction of the levels of serum alpha-fetoprotein or serum des-gamma-carboxyprothrombin in the subject to be treated.
"HCC is the fifth most common cancer in the world and the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Because standard chemotherapy usually has no beneficial outcome on HCC patients, there is significant need for new therapeutic modalities and novel therapeutic targets in order to develop more effective treatments for HCC," said E. Robert Wassman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Rosetta Genomics. "Since microRNAs are master regulators of gene expression, their de-regulation can trigger changes that lead to the disease phenotype, and the modulation of their activity can be a key to the development of novel therapies."
"We continue to fortify and protect our global leadership position in microRNA technology with the addition of this valuable patent allowance," commented Kenneth A. Berlin, President and CEO of Rosetta Genomics. "Our solid patent position in microRNAs provides us with the opportunity to license, partner or otherwise derive value from this powerful technology for use in a variety of diagnostic and targeted therapeutics in oncology where there continues to be a large, unmet medical need."
Rosetta Genomics maintains an active intellectual property strategy to protect its leadership position in microRNA technology. Rosetta's portfolio includes 33 issued patents, including 30 in the U.S. In addition, Rosetta has 43 patent applications pending, of which 23 are in the U.S. These applications protect the specific microRNAs used in the Company's products and cover composition of matter, diagnostic applications, therapeutic applications and discovery process applications for microRNAs in humans.
About Liver Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, primary liver and bile duct cancers are the fifth most common cause of cancer death in men and the ninth most common cause of cancer death in women. Over the past two decades, the incidence rates for these cancers have increased in people of all races and in both genders; mortality rates have increased in all groups except Asians/Pacific Islanders. Men are more than twice as likely as women to develop and die from liver and bile duct cancers, and African Americans and Hispanics are almost twice as likely to develop these cancers as whites. Although Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders have lower incidence rates of most types of cancer than whites, they have much higher rates of liver cancer.
Liver cancer is closely associated with hepatitis virus infections. Almost all cases of liver cancer in the United States occur in people who first had cirrhosis, usually resulting from hepatitis B or C infection or from heavy alcohol use. Ingestion of foods contaminated with aflatoxin and obesity may also increase liver cancer risk. Vaccinating for hepatitis B provides long-term protection from hepatitis B infection and has been shown to lower the risk of liver cancer in children, although it is not yet known whether it lowers the risk in adults. There is no standard or routine screening test for liver cancer. Standard treatments for liver cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, percutaneous ethanol injection and targeted therapy.
About Rosetta Cancer Testing Services
Rosetta Cancer Tests are a series of microRNA-based diagnostic testing services offered by Rosetta Genomics. The Rosetta Cancer Origin Test™ can accurately identify the primary tumor type in primary and metastatic cancer including cancer of unknown or uncertain primary (CUP). Rosetta Mesothelioma Test™ diagnoses mesothelioma, a cancer connected to asbestos exposure. The Rosetta Lung Cancer Test™ accurately identifies the four main subtypes of lung cancer using small amounts of tumor cells. The Rosetta Kidney Cancer Test™ accurately classifies the four most common kidney tumors: clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), papillary RCC, chromophobe RCC and oncocytoma. Rosetta's assays are designed to provide objective diagnostic data; it is the treating physician's responsibility to diagnose and administer the appropriate treatment. In the U.S. alone, Rosetta Genomics estimates that 200,000 patients a year may benefit from the Rosetta Cancer Origin Test™, 60,000 from the Rosetta Mesothelioma Test™, 65,000 from the Rosetta Kidney Cancer Test™ and 226,000 patients from the Rosetta Lung Cancer Test™. The Company's assays are offered directly by Rosetta Genomics in the U.S., and through distributors around the world. For more information, please visit www.rosettagenomics.com. Parties interested in ordering the test can contact Rosetta Genomics at (215) 382-9000 ext. 309.
About Rosetta Genomics
Rosetta develops and commercializes a full range of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics. Founded in 2000, Rosetta'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. Building on its strong patent position and proprietary platform technologies, Rosetta is working on the application of these technologies in the development and commercialization of a full range of microRNA-based diagnostic tools. Rosetta's cancer testing services are commercially available through its Philadelphia-based CAP-accredited, CLIA-certified lab. Frost & Sullivan recognized Rosetta Genomics with the 2012 North American Next Generation Diagnostics Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award.
Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer
Various statements in this release concerning Rosetta's future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, Rosetta's Cancer of Origin Test™, Rosetta's development or commercialization of molecular diagnostics, the market acceptance of Rosetta's cancer testing services, particularly the Rosetta Cancer Origin Test™, Rosetta's development of personalized medicine products and services, Rosetta licensing, partnering or otherwise deriving value from microRNA technology for use in a variety of diagnostic and targeted therapeutics and Rosetta developing therapeutic products., constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those risks more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of Rosetta's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2012 as filed with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Rosetta's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Rosetta does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.