Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a San Diego, CA-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative new medicines targeting microRNAs, has received a $10m equity investment from sanofi-aventis.
The investment, which was made in connection with the landmark alliance the two companies entered into on June 21, 2010, is designed to further strengthen the balance sheet of Regulus.
Following the transaction, sanofi-aventis becomes the third investor in the company, along with its founding companies Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY) and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS).
The alliance between Regulus and sanofi-aventis is for the discovery, development and commercialization of microRNA* therapeutics towards the clinic in several areas including hepatitis C infection, immuno-inflammatory diseases, fibrosis, oncology, and cardiovascular/metabolic diseases.
*microRNAs are small RNA molecules, typically 20 to 25 nucleotides in length that do not encode proteins but instead regulate gene expression (http://www.regulusrx.com/microrna/microrna-explained.php).