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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The French government has provided €13.4 million ($17.4 million) to fund the Innovative MODels Initiative (IMODI), a partnership aimed at facilitating the development of new cancer treatments.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – French biotechnology firm Rarecells today announced that Ipsen and Institut Gustave Roussy, has selected its ISET technology for a study into patients with prostate cancer.

The collaboration will leverage Ipsen's broad portfolio of compounds and BioMérieux's diagnostic tests and focus on prostate and breast cancers, neuroendocrine tumors, and pituitary tomors.

While a handful of pricey deals have dominated the headlines, a handful of other companies over the past year have formed more modest collaborations to see whether they can take advantage of RNAi as a therapeutic modality.

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.

Rosetta Genomics top executive said this week that the firm expects to forge at least one strategic partnership by year end, although he did not specify whether it would be around its diagnostics, drug research biomarker, or therapeutics efforts.

The companies will combine Dicerna's Dicer-substrate technology with Ipsen's peptide-based targeting vectors, which they said will allow cell-specific, intracellular delivery of the RNAi molecules.

At the Lancet, more than two dozen public health researchers condemn the conspiracy theories that have emerged surrounding the source of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Washington Post reports that Philip Leder, who helped uncover how DNA codes for proteins and studied the role of genes in cancer, has died.

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Pittsburgh look into how often de novo genes arise and how important they may be.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: pipeline for genotyping Alu retrotransposon mobile element insertions, previously undocumented non-coding RNAs, and more.