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Potential new therapeutics for hormone-dependent diseases
A series of kisspeptin peptide antagonists capable of suppressing GnRH and therefore steroid hormones. These can be useful in treating conditions such as prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, endometriosis and uterine fibroids. The peptides may also have the potential to treat precocious puberty and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Kisspeptin is the ligand for GPCR54. It has a central role in control of GnRH secretion and therefore presents a new mode of action in the control of hormone dependant diseases. This series of peptides has demonstrated efficacy in various animal models reducing GnRH secretion, LH and testosterone secretion. Moreover, his is achieved by peripheral delivery of the peptides. Thus, these peptides could form the basis of new therapeutics in hormone dependant diseases. Opportunity 459
Assay for GnRH receptor ligands
GnRH receptor expression has been recognised as a key component of auto-regulation of cell proliferation in a number of tumours. Researchers at the MRC have developed an assay and peptides capable of distinguishing between GnRH receptor signalling in normal and tumour cells. This then provides for a method to develop GnRH receptor ligands capable of suppressing tumour growth in tumours expressing GnRH while leaving normal signalling in tact. Further, a series of GnRH peptide analogues capable of selectively inhibiting GnRH signalling in tumour cells while not significantly activating unrelated transduction signals is provided. Novel GnRH receptor targeted ligands capable of suppressing growth in such tumours would contribute to the potential for treatment a number of hormone dependant cancers either alone or as adjuvant therapies. For instance, 50% of breast cancers and 80% of ovarian and endometrial tumours express GnRH receptor. This then represents an opportunity to introduce a therapy based on a new mode of action. Opportunity 458
Molecular Copy Number Counting (MCC)
A robust and simple PCR-based method for measuring gene copy number. Genetic copy number variations (CNV) are often associated with genetic disorders, degenerative diseases and cancer, and the method has applications in personalised treatment of cancer, diagnosis of genetic disease and fertility treatment. Opportunity 245
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