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Rosetta Joins Israeli RNAi Consortium

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Rosetta Genomics this week announced that it has joined the Rimonim Pharmaceutical Consortium, an initiative funded by the Office of the Israeli Chief Scientist to bring together companies focused on RNAi therapeutics development.

Rosetta said that, in doing so, it has received a $460,000 grant from the consortium.

"Rimonim will provide us with opportunities to interact with other leaders in the field who specialize in, among other things, systems that may be appropriate for delivering siRNA or microRNA mimetic molecules," Rosetta President and CEO Kenneth Berlin said in a statement. "We believe that the combined expertise and knowledge represented by this group is a great starting point for this important project, and we look forward to working with our fellow consortium members."

A request for comment from the Office of the Israeli Chief Scientist was not returned, but Rosetta said that the consortium includes bioinformatics, biopharmaceutical, clinical diagnostic, and therapeutic companies, as well as leading academic centers. These members will "work together to develop technologies to help commercialize RNAi therapeutics. All of the consortium's participants will have access to the technologies and [intellectual property that] will result from the work of the consortium."

As first reported by Gene Silencing News, Quark Pharmaceuticals said late last year that its subsidiary QBI will head the consortium (GSN 10/14/2010).

According to Quark, the Israeli government will financially support the consortium, which will specifically develop technologies related to RNAi chemistry, including chemical modifications, basic siRNA structure, and molecular manufacture; formulations, including delivery methods; and analytical approaches to facilitate the discovery, as well as the preclinical and clinical development, of RNAi agents.

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