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Alnylam said that as part of the agreement, it would allow Merck, the parent company of one-time rival Sirna Therapeutics, to sub-license a portion of the disputed IP to which it previously did not have access.

The company said this week that it has begun manufacturing prototype disposable test cartridges for performing rapid, inexpensive PCR assays as part of a future portable HIV detection and monitoring system for use in developing countries.

While a handful of pricey deals have dominated the headlines, a handful of other companies over the past year have formed more modest collaborations to see whether they can take advantage of RNAi as a therapeutic modality.

The Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy is a joint program with the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

BioServe touts the repository as the "the largest resource of high-quality biosamples for the life science industry" and claims that researchers can access it to garner biosamples from "most any major diseases."

The firm has started the BioServe Network with partners including Fox Chase, Windber, UMass, and the Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities.

As part of its request for dismissal, MIT admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to be bound by any court ruling against the case's other defendants, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The matter is of particular importance since UMass is the only one of the four organizations to which the IP is assigned to have licensed it to companies other than Alnylam.

Although the suit was first filed last summer, the courtroom showdown had been brewing for years.

The suit, filed by Alnylam and Max Planck against the University of Massachusetts, MIT, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, is set to go to trial Feb. 22.

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Bloomberg reports that vaccine developers won't have to conduct large trials of updated vaccines or vaccine boosters aimed at new viral variants.

The SARS-CoV-2 variant uncovered in California may be more transmissible and partially evade vaccine-induced antibody response, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Francis deSouza, the CEO of Illumina, calls for a global SARS-CoV-2 genomics surveillance network, according to the Financial Times.

In PNAS this week: immunotherapy for hard-to-treat breast cancers, effects of oncogenic histone H3K36M mutations, and more.