On April 26th, 2012, “the Opening Ceremony of China Technology Transfer Centre of The University of Western Ontario, Canada and Project Signing Ceremony” was held in Nanjing New-Town Sci-Tech Park. At the ceremony an Intellectual Property Agreement, “MicroRNA as a Therapeutic Agent in Diabetic Retinopathy and Other Diabetic Complications”, was signed between the University of Western Ontario(UWO) and Kunshan RNAi Institute Co., Ltd.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a serious complication of diabetes and the leading cause of blindness in diabetics. Currently DR can only be managed with surgical treatments and life style changes. A leading team of scientists at UWO has found several naturally occurring miRNAs. Administration of the identified miRNAs induces a therapeutic response by blocking glucose induced up regulation of VEGF and increases angiogenesis. Their finding provides a means to use naturally occurring molecules to inhibit VEGF which leads to significantly lower toxicity potential compared to other pharmacological approaches to inhibit VEGF. The technology will be used in the field of diagnostic and treatment of human diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, or diabetic large vessels disease.

Kunshan RNAi Institute is an important driving force to the innovation and development of the biological medicine industry in Kunshan. This Institute contributes in gathering resources for RNAi R&D in China, such as new technology and equipment. It also contributes in bringing in the best research team for further R&D of RNAi, as well as supporting some RNAi projects.

The cooperation between UWO and Kunshan RNAi Institute is expected to bring breakthroughs to the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and more commercial opportunities.