Mirrx

Mirrx Therapeutics this week announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology in Australia, formalizing an ongoing collaboration focused on developing microRNA-blocking drugs for cardiovascular and oncology indicat

Mirrx Therapeutics this month scored a major victory in its efforts to secure European patent protection on its microRNA inhibition technology when a Danish court dismissed a lawsuit filed against the company by Santaris Pharma alleging misappropriation of trade secrets.

Mirrx said the agency's decision may mean it will have to wait as long as two years before it can secure the patent. During that time, it may be unable to secure additional investments needed to stay in business, the company said.

As part of a lawsuit seeking control of the technology, Santaris has successfully petitioned the European Patent Office to stay its review of Mirrx's patent application.

Despite the mounting data linking a variety of miRNAs to different diseases, in most cases the data are early-stage, and thus far only a handful of miRNAs have made it into the pipelines of companies in the field.

In his defense, Mirrx's founder charged that Santaris is aiming to gain control of the Blockmir technology as an alternative to the LNA technology used in its phase I HCV drug SPC3649, which he alleges falls under intellectual property controlled by Regulus Therapeutics.

Reuters reports that UK researchers are using gene-editing tools to develop flu-resistant chickens.

Nature calls for genomics to become part of the World Health Organization's cholera surveillance approach.

Vox explores a proposal to institute a lottery system to award grant funds.

In Genome Biology this week: gut microbiome study of individuals from Tanzania and Botswana, sixth version of the Network of Cancer Genes database, and more.