TETF investment in Mirna Therapeutics Inc.
Gov. Rick Perry today announced the state will invest $5 million through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) in Mirna Therapeutics Inc. for the development and commercialization of its biopharmaceutical research in micro ribonucleic acid (RNA) treatments for cancer.
"Texas' biotechnology industry is essential to developing products that can improve and save lives, and we are working to foster continued growth of this industry within the state," Gov. Perry said. "This investment will help develop the research associated with this innovative cancer treatment into a therapy that will help improve cancer patients' quality of life, and strengthen our state's biomedical technology sector."
Mirna is developing a cancer treatment that introduces synthetic micro RNA, or miRNA, back into tumors to trigger their death. Research has shown that the use of this therapy has reduced or eliminated cancerous tumors in mice. The treatment would focus on inflammatory, cardiovascular, ophthalmic, metabolic, neurological and infectious diseases.
The company is partnering with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Texas at Austin for further development of the therapy.
The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor's request, and reauthorized in 2007 and again this session with $203.5 million for the 2010-2011 biennium. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. To date, the TETF has allocated more than $124 million in funds to 96 early stage companies, and $148 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities.