Cubist Pharmaceuticals

This article has been updated from a previous version to include information about Cepheid's pharmaceutical partnerships around the Xpert Carba-R assay.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cepheid is collaborating with AstraZeneca, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline to develop a rapid diagnostic test that can analyze multi-drug resistant pathogens and help doctors prescribe the most beneficial antibiotics for patients.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals this week provided an update to its research and development activities, adding a new preclinical program to its pipeline with ALN-AS1 for acute intermittent porphyria while dropping its refractory anemia drug ALN-HPN in order to focus on “higher priority”

In another setback to its respiratory syncytial virus program, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals announced this week that its RSV therapeutic candidate ALN-RSV01 failed to meet the primary endpoint in a phase IIb trial.

The company also disclosed that it and partner Cubist Pharmaceuticals have decided to put on hold the development of a second-generation version of Alnylam's respiratory syncytial virus treatment, although no details regarding the decision were provided.

Among these is a deal between Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and Japan's Kyowa Hakko Kirin, which announced this week that they have expanded their drug-development partnership to include work in immunologic and inflammatory diseases.

As its search for at least two new major industry partners potentially extends into next year, Alnylam said that Cubist has decided to focus its attention on a second-generation molecule rather than the RSV program’s original drug candidate.

The companies said that they plan to evaluate these and other data, including ones related to second-generation RSV agents, "to determine the optimal development strategy and specific plans for all RSV indications."

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Alnylam's RNAi-based therapy Onpattro, according to Stat News.

Harvard Medical School's Seth Cassel and Cigall Kadoch argue in a Baltimore Sun op-ed that the recent TAILORx trial shows the potential of genomic-based medicine.

Researchers in the UK are working on using gene drives to control malaria-carrying mosquitoes, the Telegraph reports.

In PLOS this week: genetic architecture mediating gene expression, metabolomic patterns in multiple myeloma, and more.