MiNA Theraputics has announced a new research collaboration with pharma giant AstraZeneca, in order to evaluate small activating RNA (saRNA) molecules in metabolic diseases.

The company says that the partnership is set to combine its “leading expertise” in the discovery and development of saRNA therapeutics with AstraZeneca's experience in identifying and bringing breakthrough treatments to patients with metabolic diseases.

Many metabolic diseases “lack sufficient treatment options to help patients manage their disease and to treat the underlying causes to improve patient outcomes” explained Robert Habib, chief executive officer of MiNA, before going on to say that the partnership is an “exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with AstraZeneca, a global leader in the discovery and development of prescription medicines to treat metabolic diseases, that may lead to therapeutic advances for a large number of patients globally.

“We continue to evaluate the potential of saRNA therapeutics in a variety of indications, in parallel with advancing our proprietary programs in cancer.”

Both companies will conduct in vitro and in vivo studies, hopefully enabling the future development of saRNA therapeutics to “treat metabolic diseases through biological pathways not addressable by conventional treatment strategies.”

AstraZeneca will then have the option to negotiate a license agreement to further develop saRNA molecules, although further details of the collaboration are yet to be announced.