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familial adenomatous polyposis

FAP is an inherited, colorectal cancer syndrome characterized by the growth of colorectal polyps. Though the polyps are initially benign, they become malignant in nearly all cases in the absence of colectomy, according to Marina.

The company's vice president of corporate development said that Marina is "committed" to signing two partnerships before year end, but indicated that it may miss this goal if the terms of the deals aren't right.

"Clinical site approval at MGH marks the last regulatory requirement prior to moving our first drug candidate into human trials," Michael French, president and CEO of Marina, said in a statement.

CEQ508 is based on Cequent Pharmaceuticals' so-called transkingdom RNAi technology, and is designed to inhibit the oncogene beta-catenin, which is expected to prevent new polyp formation associated with the disease.

The company said the toxicology work, which is being conducted in non-human primates, will lay the groundwork for a phase II study to begin in 2011.

The drug is designed to treat advanced familial adenomatous polyposis by inhibiting the oncogene beta-catenin, which is expected to prevent the formation of polyps characterizing the disease and possibly slow the progression to malignancy of existing ones.

The company also remains on track with its more advanced familial adenomatous polyposis drug and plans to file within the next two weeks an investigational new drug application to begin testing the therapy in humans.

The data, which the company said represent the first proof of activity of an oral RNAi drug, set the stage for an investigational new drug application filing later this year.

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Bloomberg reports that the DNA-for-cash deal reported in Kentucky might be a more widespread scam.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have treated infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency using gene therapy in an early phase study.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that some African Americans are turning to DNA ancestry testing to help guide genealogical searches.

In Nature this week: a genomic analysis of the snailfish Pseudoliparis swirei, ancient DNA analysis gives insight into the introduction of farming to England, and more.