Unique Biomarker Responsible for Metastasis

TransCode’s scientific co-founders identified microRNA-10b as a molecule essential for sustaining metastatic cell viability

Cancer is a complex disease that is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Understanding of cancer as a genetic disease has greatly progressed over the past decade. Small, non-coding strands of RNA have been identified as a significant player in the pathology of cancer. These microRNAs have been shown to be differentially expressed across different cancers and tissues.

One of the first microRNAs to be shown as having aberrant expression in cancer was microRNA-10b. Since the inaugural study on microRNA-10b, its role as a metastasis promoting factor has been extensively validated. To date, more than 120 studies have been completed on microRNA-10b and metastasis across 18 cancer types including breast, pancreatic, lung, colorectal, gastric, melanoma, ovarian, hepatocellular cancer, glioblastoma and others.

microRNA-10b has been linked to metastatic potential, disease progression, and outcome in multiple clinical studies spanning a wide range of cancers.

Biomarker for metastasis
  • High expression associated with tumor cell migration and proliferation
  • Marker of local and distant metastasis
Involved in multiple cancer types
  • Breast, Pancreatic, Non-small cell lung, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Melanoma
  • Colorectal, Glioma, Prostate, Esophageal, Ovarian, Gastric and Thyroid Cancer
Linked to higher cancer risk and poor survival outcomes
  • Carcinogenesis and Presence of cancer
  • Poor overall-survival (OS) in patients

Against this conceptual framework, TransCode Therapeutics, Inc. has designed the first known cancer therapeutic, TTX-MC138, that efficiently inhibits microRNA-10b in metastatic tumor cells, resulting in the regression of established metastases.

MetastamiR Dependence

TransCode Therapeutics has identified and is therapeutically targeting a biological mechanism in metastatic cancers that the co-founders have termed "metastamiR dependence"

Metastatic cells cannot survive without the overexpression of specific non-coding RNA molecules, called microRNAs.

This specific mechanism of metastamiR dependence is manifested through the company’s lead therapeutic target (microRNA-10b), which has broad relevance to multiple cancers and is a master regulator of the viability of metastatic tumor cells. The mechanism of metastamiR dependence on microRNA-10b relies on two key processes:

  1. In metastasis, a small population of cells in the primary tumor overexpress microRNA-10b and acquire the ability to migrate and invade surrounding tissues.
  2. Once microRNA-10b expression is high in these metastatic cells, they become molecularly dependent on this high level of expression to survive.