RNA is a versatile molecule
All known organisms use RNA as blueprint of the genetic information for single proteins and also as structural elements of the ribosomes, little cellular machines that assemble the proteins.
Both, genetic information that an RNA carries, but also the individual 3-dimensional structure of an RNA molecule are encoded in the RNA by the distinct sequence of the four building blocks A, C, G and U. Aptarion uses the capacity of RNAs to fold into distinct shapes depending on their sequences.
By using an evolutionary process in the test tube, Aptarion selects and evolves RNA molecules that have a complementary shape to a given target of interest. The evolved RNA molecules act by binding and neutralizing the target. Such molecules are called aptamers and this is the origin of our name.
Mirror-image configuration of RNA
increases biological stability
Aptarion focuses on the discovery and development of RNA aptamers in the L-configuration. Many organic molecules come in two forms: Right-handed (D) and left-handed (L).
Since biological RNA is always right-handed D-RNA, the RNA-degrading enzymes that are important for fighting RNA viruses, are specialized on D-RNA.In order to be invisible to these enzymes and therefore be more stable in the bloodstream, Aptarion uses the “mirror-image” L-RNAs to make their L-aptamers.