Healthcare analyst Max Macaluso thinks understanding RNAi drugs is as easy as picturing a leaky faucet. In this case, you can either put a bucket down to catch the drips, or you can turn off the water supply to the faucet. Drugs out on the market now are like the buckets, but RNAi would be cutting the water supply off altogether. Learn more about this revolutionary treatment method in this clip of Industry Focus: Healthcare.
A transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on March 10, 2016, and released on May 18, 2016.
Kristine Harjes: I think the concept of "let's wait and see" is pretty directly relevant to the next class of drugs that we wanted to talk about, which is RNAi.
Max Macaluso: Yeah. RNAi is another incredibly interesting class. It refers to RNA interference. So, to put it all in context: There's a cascade of information that goes from DNA to RNA to the creation of proteins. So, RNA helps make proteins like GPCRs and little peptides that bind to GPCRs in the body. And we just talked about how many drugs target GPCRs. So, what RNA interference does is, it moves the process further upstream. Instead of tackling the disease by targeting the protein, you move one step up and interfere with the creation of that protein by attacking messenger RNA that would translate the genetic code into a protein. So, it's referred to as gene silencing. And, Kristine, it's very complex. It also won a Nobel Prize in 2006, to put that into context, too.
The best analogy I have is very, very crude -- it's a leaky faucet. So, the example here is, let's say your sink is broken, the pipe is bursting. One solution is to put a bucket under the sink, and you're going to have to wait for it to fill up, you'll have to dump it out, put it back under the sink. So, that's one way you can solve that problem. Or you can turn off the faucet. So, in the case of RNA interference, the analogy I like to use is that you turn off the faucet, you go a step further up in the processes and try to solve the disease there.
Harjes: Well, if the analogy holds true, that seems like a much better solution.