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Under terms of the deal, Novartis will give Epistem a $4 million upfront payment and provide funding to study the stem cell shop's drug targets. Epistem could also get up to $45 million in milestone payments for each product developed from targets licensed under the agreement.

If MedImmune can develop and market a drug based on the discovery, it could be a financial boost to the institute, which hopes to diversify its revenue sources once cash from sole corporate sponsor Kirin Pharma USA dries up in 2010.

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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The Wall Street Journal looks into FamilyTreeDNA's handling of genetic genealogy searches by law enforcement.

In a point-counterpoint in the Boston Globe, researchers discuss the potential of gene editing to prevent Lyme disease, but also the pitfalls of doing so.

MIT's Technology Review reports that researchers hope to develop a CRISPR-based pain therapy.

In Science this week: atlas of malaria parasites' gene expression across their life cycles, and more.