MicroRNAs are a class of non-protein-coding RNA genes that regulate the expression of protein-coding mRNAs in animals and plants. Researchers at the University of Manchester (UoM) have developed a microRNA database (miRBase) which has become an essential resource for researchers both in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The database is the central global repository for all published microRNA sequences and annotation.
miRBase data enables production of novel experimental kits and resources (including microRNA qPCR assays and microarrays) by companies including ABI, Invitrogen, Sigma-Aldrich and Exiqon. Tools produced by these companies underpin experimental microRNA research across academic and industrial settings, which benefit product development, drug discovery and clinical research. Exiqon reported more than 110 million DKK in revenue from their life science business in 2012, with main product lines involving microRNAs.