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Veritas Bio, a biotechnology holding company established by two co-founders of expressed RNAi firm Nucleonics, said this week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance on a patent application covering a novel liver-directed RNAi delivery technology.

With Marina Biotech's back against the wall, the RNAi drugs field may soon see the departure of its third player this year, following the bankruptcy of Traversa Therapeutics and the acquisition of Tacere Therapeutics by Benitec Biopharma.

Although it was one of the earliest patents in the RNAi field, the IP had earlier been deemed invalid by the USPTO after re-examination proceedings were initiated by now-defunct expressed RNAi firm Nucleonics.

Last week, the Australian firm disclosed that the UK Intellectual Property Office has received an application to revoke its UK patent No. 2,353,282, which is related to the '099 patent.

The IP fell under USPTO scrutiny as part of a protracted patent-infringement battle Benitec waged with now-defunct expressed RNAi shop Nucleonics.

The allowed patent covers the use of multiple-promoter expression cassettes for simultaneous delivery of RNAi. Separately, the Aussie shop said the USPTO won’t likely decide a company appeal until the third quarter of next year.

While most companies working in the RNAi drugs field have been able to secure the money needed to maintain operations, a number of players in the space have bowed out under unfavorable circumstances.

The World Bank is seeking approval for a $12 billion plan to provide low-income nations with funds to procure SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, according to Reuters.

The Washington Post reports that Herbert Tabor, who worked at the US National Institutes of Health for 77 years, has died at 101.

Science writes that public health officials and others are debating whether cycle threshold values should be included on SARS-CoV-2 results.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: online database of SARS-CoV-2 protein structures, atlas of the human brain, and more.