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Arrowhead Takes Last Steps toward Moving HBV Drug into Human Testing


Arrowhead Research said this week that it has begun the final processes required to file an investigational new drug application for its RNAi-based hepatitis B treatment ARC-520, including manufacturing, toxicology studies, and preparation of a pre-IND data package for submission to US regulators.

The drug was originally under development by Roche, which quit the RNAi therapeutics space in 2010 and sold off related assets to Arrowhead the next year (GSN 10/27/2011). Arrowhead unveiled the HBV program earlier this year, and pegged a first-half-2013 timeframe for the IND filing (GSN 5/10/2012).

"The promotion of ARC-520 as a clinical candidate, so soon after acquiring the Roche RNAi assets, represents an important milestone for Arrowhead," the company's President and CEO Christopher Anzalone said in a statement this week.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.