A Method of Reducing Cholesterol Biosynthesis with Specific MicroRNAs

This technology is directed to the discovery of specific microRNAs that target and downregulate enzymes within the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway and is currently being tested in vivo.

Briefly, microRNAs regulate the translation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into protein. The inventors have discovered a set of specific microRNAs that downregulate the expression of multiple enzymes in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. Importantly, this technology may provide the benefits of cholesterol lowering therapies to patients that are not suited for statin-based treatments. Statins block the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway at a single enzymatic step and may result in the deleterious build-up of a metabolic intermediate. In contrast, this technology simultaneously targets the expression of multiple enzymes required for cholesterol biosynthesis and thus may avoid the build-up of metabolic intermediates. The reduction of cholesterol biosynthesis has been indicated for improved cardiovascular health and lowers the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • A method of reducing cellular cholesterol biosynthesis.
  • A method of reducing systemic cholesterol in a subject.
  • May be effective for patients not suited for statin-based treatment.
  • Targets multiple enzymes in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway simultaneously.

Development Stage:
Early stage


Kasey Vickers (NHLBI)  ➽ more inventions...

Alan Remaley (NHLBI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: - issued -

Vickers KC and Remaley AT. MicroRNAs in atherosclerosis and lipoprotein metabolism. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obesity. 2010 Apr;17(2):150-155; DOI 10.1097/MED.0b013e32833727a1. PubMed: 20150807

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Pulmonary Vascular Medicine Branch, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize microRNA regulation of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. Please contact Dr. Denise M. Crooks at 301-435-0103, crooksd@nhlbi.nih.gov for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Admin. Licensing Specialist (ALS),

OTT Reference No: E-142-2009-0
Updated: Jun 16, 2010