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Acuity, Sirna, Isis

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Acuity AMD Drug Appears Safe, Effective in Phase II Trial

Acuity Pharmaceutical said this week that top-line phase II data showed that its siRNA-based drug bevasiranib sodium, formerly known as Cand5, was safe and effective in treating age-related macular degeneration.

The findings were presented at the American Society of Gene Therapy in Baltimore, Acuity said.

"I am encouraged by these initial results, which show a trend toward dose-dependent efficacy without discernable adverse effects in these AMD patients with serious progressive disease," Lawrence Singerman, professor of ophthalmology at Case University and a principle investigator for the study, said in a statement.

According to Acuity, the top-line study results show bevasiranib to be safe and well-tolerated, with a dose-related effect evident across multiple endpoints including near vision, lesion size, and time to rescue.


Sirna Announces Exercise of Over-Allotment Option in Stock Offering

Sirna Therapeutics said this week that the underwriters of its recent stock offering have exercised in full their over-allotment option to purchase 1.35 million shares of Sirna common stock.

Including the over-allotment shares, the offering will total 10,350,000 shares at a public offering price of $5 per share, resulting in an aggregate public offering price of approximately $52 million and estimated net proceeds to the company of approximately $47 million, Sirna said.


Isis Receives $75 M Equity Financing Commitment

Isis Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has received a commitment for up to $75 million in common stock equity financing from Azimuth Opportunity.

According to Isis, over the next 18 months it may at its discretion, from time to time, sell registered shares of its common stock at a small discount to the market price to Azimuth.

Proceeds from the financing, Isis said, will be used for research, drug discovery and development activities, capital expenditures, and other general corporate purposes.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.