PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, with the number of deaths rising every year. Much effort has gone into development of new treatment strategies. Many RNA species have important regulatory functions in disease initiation and progression, providing interesting new treatment options. This review focuses on different classes of RNA-based therapeutics and provides examples of current clinical and preclinical studies. Current challenges that prevent clinical translation and possibilities to overcome them will be discussed.
RECENT FINDINGS: Different RNA-based molecules have been developed, such as antisense oligos, microRNA mimics and small interfering RNAs. Modifications are used to prevent degradation and immune activation and improve affinity. Additionally, in order to improve delivery of the RNA molecules to the target tissues, viral or nonviral vectors can be used.
SUMMARY: RNA-based therapy has been shown to be a promising new treatment strategy for different disorders. However, several challenges, such as delivery problems and low efficacy remain. Future research will likely focus on effective delivery to target tissues in order to improve efficacy and avoid harmful side-effects.