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MirNat @ Startupbootcamp FoodTech

MirNat @ Startupbootcamp FoodTech

The MirNat Company has been selected as one of the 20 finalists (among 750 startups) to participate in the Startbootcamp FoodTech selection days. Stay tuned […]

MirNat at Padova Fiere

MirNat at Padova Fiere

MirNat is proud to be part of Padova Fiere 2017! HOME  

Discover the MirNat Company

MirNat is a Start Up Company, established in 2012 by a scientific team from the University of Rome Tor Vergata with specific interests in Pathology, Genetics, Pharmacology and Bioinformatics.

MirNat uses science to deliver this Nature’s intrinsic worth in carefully designed enriched form.

Our scientific vision has its foundations in the integrated evolution of the different Kingdoms (microbial, plant and animal) of our Planet, on the high level of scientific research and clinical experimentation, and on the ethical and direct management of research and business.

Through our team of researchers, MirNat has developed, by an initial bioinformatics work, a series of smart foods with high content of plant microRNA currently under evaluation of the nutraceutical potential in murine model and subsequently human clinical trials phase.

Gismondi, A., Canuti, L., Impei, S., Di Marco, G., Kenzo, M., Colizzi, V., and Canini, A. (2013). Antioxidant extracts of African medicinal plants induce cell cycle arrest and differentiation in B16F10 melanoma cells. Int. J. Oncol. 43, 956–964 PubMed


Sagnia, B., Fedeli, D., Casetti, R., Montesano, C., Falcioni, G., and Colizzi, V. (2014). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of extracts from Cassia alata, Eleusine indica, Eremomastax speciosa, Carica papaya and Polyscias fulva medicinal plants collected in Cameroon. PloS One 9, e103999. PubMed


Pirrò, S., Minutolo, A., Galgani, A., Potestà, M., Colizzi, V., and Montesano, C. (2016). Bioinformatics prediction and experimental validation of microRNAs involved in cross-kingdom interaction. J. Comput. Biol.  976-988   PubMed


Pirrò, S., Zanella, L., Kenzo, M., Montesano, C., Minutolo, A., Potestà, M., Sobze, M.S., Canini, A., Cirilli, M., Muleo, R., et al. (2016b). MicroRNA from Moringa oleifera: Identification by High Throughput Sequencing and Their Potential Contribution to Plant Medicinal Value. PloS One 11, e0149495.   PubMed

Difference in Moringa oleifera spp. microRNAs

In close collaboration with University of Mexico, we will perform an identification of functionally important microRNA families with differential expression profiles between different species of Moringa depending on their geographical distribution (Southern Madagascar, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Namibia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Israel, Jordan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, India and Mexico). To this aim, seed and leaf material will be collected and a next generation sequencing approach for the potential discovery of novel putative microRNA will be used. In the next step, identified putative microRNAs will be analyzed using bioinformatic tool MirCompare for homology comparison with human microRNAs with known therapeutic potential within a range of pathophysiological states.

MIcroRNA from Moringa oleifera callus

This project aims to increase the production of Moringa oleifera’s microRNAs acting on secondary metabolism and involved in cross-kingdom gene regulation. The project will be founded on callus production obtained from Moringa oleifera leaves. The collected material will be exposed to cold stress of different durations, and subsequently analyzed for secondary metabolites (by HPLC) and presence of microRNAs. At the moment, several lines of calluses have been obtained from Moringa leaves using the protocol described by Shank and colleagues (2013). Experiments with cold stress were carried out for the duration of 6, 8, 24 and 48 hour at 4 °C. All the calluses were vital after the cold treatments and their growth was monitored for a month. Two more cold treatments are planned to be performed:  5 and 7 days, and the rest of callus material will be collected for the HPLC and miRNAs analysis.  If the low temperature treatments turn out to be effective in obtaining an enrichment in miRNAs involved in cross-kingdom gene regulation, a large scale callus liquid cultures will be set up for Mir-Nat industrial purpose.

Food as medicine: nutraceuticals from medicinal plants

The purpose of this work is to assess the impact of Moringa oleifera (along with other medicinal plants – Olea europaea) based diet on breast cancer regulation. This will be achieved by studying the ability of plant miRNAs to regulate animal gene expression and act as a tumor suppressor for oncoprevention, in synergy with other plant macromolecules. Bioinformatic approaches for plant microRNAs identification will be carried out. Plant microRNAs with sequence homology to human tumor suppressor microRNA will be tested in vitro for functional studies. Compositions of plant microRNAs enriched with medicinal plant biocompounds will be orally administrated to murine models of cancer.

 

+ Our Mission

MirNat is a Start Up Company, established in 2012 by a scientific team from the University of Rome Tor Vergata with specific interests in Pathology, Genetics, Pharmacology and Bioinformatics.

MirNat uses science to deliver this Nature’s intrinsic worth in carefully designed enriched form.

Our scientific vision has its foundations in the integrated evolution of the different Kingdoms (microbial, plant and animal) of our Planet, on the high level of scientific research and clinical experimentation, and on the ethical and direct management of research and business.

Through our team of researchers, MirNat has developed, by an initial bioinformatics work, a series of smart foods with high content of plant microRNA currently under evaluation of the nutraceutical potential in murine model and subsequently human clinical trials phase.

+ Scientific Publications

Gismondi, A., Canuti, L., Impei, S., Di Marco, G., Kenzo, M., Colizzi, V., and Canini, A. (2013). Antioxidant extracts of African medicinal plants induce cell cycle arrest and differentiation in B16F10 melanoma cells. Int. J. Oncol. 43, 956–964 PubMed


Sagnia, B., Fedeli, D., Casetti, R., Montesano, C., Falcioni, G., and Colizzi, V. (2014). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of extracts from Cassia alata, Eleusine indica, Eremomastax speciosa, Carica papaya and Polyscias fulva medicinal plants collected in Cameroon. PloS One 9, e103999. PubMed


Pirrò, S., Minutolo, A., Galgani, A., Potestà, M., Colizzi, V., and Montesano, C. (2016). Bioinformatics prediction and experimental validation of microRNAs involved in cross-kingdom interaction. J. Comput. Biol.  976-988   PubMed


Pirrò, S., Zanella, L., Kenzo, M., Montesano, C., Minutolo, A., Potestà, M., Sobze, M.S., Canini, A., Cirilli, M., Muleo, R., et al. (2016b). MicroRNA from Moringa oleifera: Identification by High Throughput Sequencing and Their Potential Contribution to Plant Medicinal Value. PloS One 11, e0149495.   PubMed

+ Research Projects
Difference in Moringa oleifera spp. microRNAs

In close collaboration with University of Mexico, we will perform an identification of functionally important microRNA families with differential expression profiles between different species of Moringa depending on their geographical distribution (Southern Madagascar, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Namibia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Israel, Jordan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, India and Mexico). To this aim, seed and leaf material will be collected and a next generation sequencing approach for the potential discovery of novel putative microRNA will be used. In the next step, identified putative microRNAs will be analyzed using bioinformatic tool MirCompare for homology comparison with human microRNAs with known therapeutic potential within a range of pathophysiological states.

MIcroRNA from Moringa oleifera callus

This project aims to increase the production of Moringa oleifera’s microRNAs acting on secondary metabolism and involved in cross-kingdom gene regulation. The project will be founded on callus production obtained from Moringa oleifera leaves. The collected material will be exposed to cold stress of different durations, and subsequently analyzed for secondary metabolites (by HPLC) and presence of microRNAs. At the moment, several lines of calluses have been obtained from Moringa leaves using the protocol described by Shank and colleagues (2013). Experiments with cold stress were carried out for the duration of 6, 8, 24 and 48 hour at 4 °C. All the calluses were vital after the cold treatments and their growth was monitored for a month. Two more cold treatments are planned to be performed:  5 and 7 days, and the rest of callus material will be collected for the HPLC and miRNAs analysis.  If the low temperature treatments turn out to be effective in obtaining an enrichment in miRNAs involved in cross-kingdom gene regulation, a large scale callus liquid cultures will be set up for Mir-Nat industrial purpose.

Food as medicine: nutraceuticals from medicinal plants

The purpose of this work is to assess the impact of Moringa oleifera (along with other medicinal plants – Olea europaea) based diet on breast cancer regulation. This will be achieved by studying the ability of plant miRNAs to regulate animal gene expression and act as a tumor suppressor for oncoprevention, in synergy with other plant macromolecules. Bioinformatic approaches for plant microRNAs identification will be carried out. Plant microRNAs with sequence homology to human tumor suppressor microRNA will be tested in vitro for functional studies. Compositions of plant microRNAs enriched with medicinal plant biocompounds will be orally administrated to murine models of cancer.

 

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MirNat: made of people

President and CEO

Flavia del Gallo, PhD

Was born in Rome on the 3 July 1960. She is married with two daughters. Her high education has been at the University of Rome La Sapienza where she took the degree in Biological Sciences with full merit in 1984. At the same University, FDG has been enrolled in the PhD course in Experimental Medicine at the Laboratory of Immunology and Pathology of the Faculty of Biological Sciences. During the PhD course, she was involved in the study of the autoreactivity and vaccine development in human tuberculosis with 3 publications in international journals. FDG obtained the PhD title in Experimental Medicine in 1990 and after, she moved from science to art by enrolling on the Art Academy in Rome on Internal Decoration. FDG worked as interior decorator in Italy and England where had been resident for many years.
In 2005, FDG has been involved in the decoration of the International Reference Centre for AIDS in Yaounde (Cameroon) and she started to be interested again in science and traditional medicine (medical plants).
In 2012, FDG founded the research & development company MirNat acting as General Manager.

Director of the Scientific Board

Vittorio Colizzi, MD

Was born in Rome the 7 February 1949. He is married with 5 children. VC held the medical degree at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with full honor. VC is specialist in Clinical of Infectious Diseases (University of Rome) and in Hygiene and Public Health (University of Pisa), and PhD in Immunology (Brunnel University, England). His doctorate and post-doc experience have been carried out at the Clinical Research Centre in Harrow (England). He has been Assistant in Microbiology, and Associate professor in Immunology at the University of Pisa. Since 2000 to now, VC is Full Professor of Immunology and Director of the UNESCO Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. VC has been also President (2007-2010) of the Board of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Rome, Italy, and Scientific Director (2009-2011) of the International Reference Centre for AIDS “Chantal Biya” in Yaoundè, Cameroon, and President of the academic spin-off Technology Development for Africa 2005-2011). He is consultants for several agencies of the United Nations (UNESCO, UNDP, OMS) and is scientific coordinator of several European and international Projects. Actually VC is President of the University spin-off Afroinnova (Cameroonian SA). VC published over 230 scientific publications on peer-review journals (Nature, Journal of Immunology, Infection and Immunity, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Clinical Experimental Immunology, A, IDS, AIDS and Human Retrovirus Journal, etc.) in the sector of Microbial Immunology and Infectious Diseases, with special focus on AIDS and Tuberculosis. On 2012, VC has founded the research & development company MirNat.

Technical Director

Andrea Galgani, PhD

was born in Rome on 12 February 1966. His high education has been at the University of Rome La Sapienza where he obtained the Degree of Biological Sciences and the PhD degree on Endocrinology and Metabolism. In 1998 he obtained the specialization degree on HCCP and Safety Management. Since 2000, AG is involved activity in genetics in diabetes and other metabolic disorders both at the University of Rome La Sapienza and at the Paediatric Vatican Hospital Bambino Gesù (Rome). In 2003 AG was a visiting scientist at the Roche Molecular System of Alameda, California. Actually, AG is technical personnel at the Animal House Department of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. AG has published more than 15 papers on international journals.

Bioinformatics Director

Stefano Pirrò, PhD

was born in Rome on 02 November 1987. His high education has been at the University of Rome Tor Vergata where he obtained in 2010 the Bachelor’s Degree of Biotechnology, and in 2012 the Master Degree in Bioinformatics. During his thesis he collaborated with the Proxagen Ltd – Sofia, Bulgaria – to develop a software for the prediction of continuous and discontinuous B-cell epitopes. Since 2012, SP is involved in research activity on the prediction of miRNA targets and their regulation mechanism.
In January 2017 SP obtained a PhD degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He developed new methods for the characterization of cell populations starting from mass cytometry data. Moreover, he studied the stratification of cancer patients, using community discovery approaches.

At the moment, SP is bioinformatician at the Barts Cancer Institute of London, working on breast and pancreatic cancers.

Intellectual Property Protection and Regulatory Affairs director

Ivana Matic, PhD

was born in Belgrade on 9th of September 1982. Ivana is a cell and molecular biologist specialized in immunology. She graduated in 2006 at the University of Belgrade in Molecular biology and physiology, and got her PhD in 2010 in Cellular and molecular biology at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. Her areas of research expertise include regulation of inflammatory response to infections (sepsis, tuberculosis, infections in newborns) and neuropharmacology. In 2011, Ivana moved from the academia to industry to work on design and preclinical and clinical development of natural extracts and dietary supplements with anti-aging properties. She began working in patent law in 2013, while preparing a patent application for anti-age plant extracts, and continued to be actively engaged in intellectual property in biotechnology. In 2016, Ivana joined the research & development company MirNat as Intellectual Property Protection and Regulatory Affairs director.

Relations and partnerships: the key to success

American Gene Technology

Telephone:+1 301-337-2100

Address:15010 Broschart Rd #110, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

Instituto de Biología

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Telephone:Tel(s). 01(55) 562-29065

Address:Circuito exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Copilco, Coyoacán A.P. 70-233 México, Distrito Federal. C.P. 04510

Dipartimento di biologia

University of Rome “Tor Vergata”

Instituto Finlay

Address:POBox 16017, Cod. 11600, Habana, Cuba

CIRCB

International Reference Centre “Chantal Biya”

:Yaoundé, Cameroon, Central Africa

Dipartimento di scienze e tecnologie per l’Agricoltura, le Foreste, la Natura e l’Energia

Università della Tuscia

Dipartimento di scienze e tecnologie per l’Agricoltura, le Foreste, la Natura e l’Energia

Address:Viterbo, Italy