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Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Genospectra, and Sangamo BioSciences


Acuity Says IND Gets FDA Ok

Acuity Pharmaceuticals has said that its investigational new drug application for its siRNA-based treatment for age-related macular degeneration has been approved by US regulators.

According to a statement from Acuity’s president and CEO Dale Pfost, “the FDA usually reviews INDs in one month, and in the absence of notification to the contrary an IND may open and recruitment of patients commence. Acuity’s IND is now open, and patients are planned to begin to be treated in October,” he added.

Genospectra Closes $16.4 Million Financing Round

Genospectra said this week that it has closed a $16.4 million round of series C financing.

The investment round was led by Battelle Ventures, and included new investors Agilent Ventures, 5AM Ventures, Aravis Ventures, and Allen & Co. Existing investors taking part in the financing include Frazier Healthcare Ventures and Novartis Bioventures.

Sangamo Provides Update for ZFP Drug Programs

Sangamo BioSciences said this week that it is expecting to file an investigational new drug application to begin clinical trials of SB 509, its zinc finger DNA-binding protein drug candidate for diabetic neuropathy, before the end of the year.

A phase I/II trial is expected to enroll 25 patients and “will evaluate the safety of SB 509 as well as the clinical effect on symptoms of peripheral neuropathy,” Sangamo president and CEO Edward Lanphier said in a statement.

The company also said this week that it is using its ZFP technology to recreate a mutation that leads to HIV infection resistance in immune cells. Sangamo said that it believes its technology can be used to enable target cells for HIV, such as macrophages and dendritic cells, to fight the opportunistic infections associated with AIDS.


The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.