phase I data

The data also point to viral load reductions regardless of disease genotype, extent of patient liver fibrosis, or failure with other treatments.

Quark Pharmaceuticals last week announced “favorable” interim results from a phase I trial of its siRNA-based ocular neuroprotectant QPI-1007, showing the drug may improve the vision of patients with a rare eye condition.

Alnylam partner Tekmira Pharmaceuticals said it views the data as a validation of its drug-delivery technology, which will be used in two new oncology programs it unveiled this week.

The disclosure comes almost a year after Calando Pharmaceuticals published phase I data demonstrating that its own cancer drug CALAA-01 could knock down its intended target mRNA and protein inside a tumor through an RNA interference mechanism when delivered intravenously into humans.

The phase I drug, ALN-VSP02, comprises two siRNAs, one targeting vascular endothelial growth factor and one targeting kinesin spindle protein, both of which the firm said are critical for the growth and survival of cancer cells.

The data, which appeared in the online edition of Nature, "demonstrate that RNAi can occur in a human from a systemically delivered siRNA, and that siRNA can be used as a gene-specific therapeutic," the investigators wrote.

Researchers find that historical factors influence which genes are the most highly studied, the Atlantic reports.

The US National Science Foundation's new sexual harassment policy is to go into effect next month, according to Nature News.

Researchers report using genotyping to tie together illegal ivory shipments and trace them back to a handful of cartels, the New York Times reports.

In Nature this week: genomic ancestry analysis of Sardinians, current noncoding mutations in colorectal cancer, and more.