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Regulus

People in the News: Jan 6, 2011

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Dale Pfost, Garry Menzel

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.

Included in Alnylam's pipeline is a preclinical program in hypercholesterolemia, which remains on track to yield an investigational new drug application filing next year and will incorporate a new lipid-nanoparticle delivery technology developed in collaboration with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.

In June, Regulus announced that it had inked a deal giving Sanofi-Aventis the worldwide, exclusive rights to use its technology and know-how to discover, develop, and commercialize miRNA drugs, including a fibrosis treatment targeting miR-21.

Adding to the difficulty in raising funds, there has also been an increase in the number of companies operating in the miRNA space in recent years, many of which are on the lookout for their share of available investment dollars.

While the company remains optimistic about the drug's potential, questions remain as to whether Santaris has the intellectual property necessary to bring it to market.

The financial reporting manager being sought will help create "procedures to ensure that Regulus is fully compliant and ready to become a publicly traded organization," according to Regulus.

The microRNA is a potential target for immuno-inflammatory disorders and part of a lead program in the company's collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, Regulus said.

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 deal gives Sanofi worldwide, exclusive rights to use Regulus' technology and know-how to discover, develop, and sell four miRNA drugs.

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NPR reports that many USDA researchers working at the two agencies that are relocating to the Kansas City area are declining to go.

Genetic genealogy has helped exonerate a man who has been jailed for 20 years, Agence France Presse reports.

A new report says genetically modified food might be necessary to be able to feed a planet of nearly 10 billion people, Bloomberg says.

In Nature this week: new RNA editing approach called LEAPER, draft assembly of Musa balbisiana banana genome, and more.