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Alnylam, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Dharmacon, Sigma-Aldrich, Beijing Superior Chemicals and Instruments

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Alnylam CEO Adopts Plan to Sell Up to 7 Percent of His Stake in Company

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said last week that President and CEO John Maraganore has adopted a prearranged stock trading plan under which he may sell approximately 84,000 shares of the company stock that he owns.

The shares represent approximately 7 percent of Maraganore's total ownership of Alnylam stock and stock option holdings. Alnylam said that Maraganore adopted the plan for "personal financial reasons."

According to the company, the plan was adopted pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which "allows executive officers, directors and other insiders to individually adopt pre-arranged, structured stock trading plans when they are not in possession of material non-public information. Once these plans are adopted, the officers and directors have no discretion over the timing, price or terms of any sales made pursuant to such plans," Alnylam said.


Fox Chase Cancer Center Joins Dharmacon's Global RNAi Alliance

Dharmacon, a unit of Fisher Biosciences, said this week that Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center has joined Dharmacon's Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative.

Fox Chase becomes the 11th member of the alliance, and the first new member since the initiative was formed in October (see RNAi News, 10/7/2005).

The alliance aims to use Dharmacon's complete siRNA library to conduct functional genomics screens of genes throughout the human genome.


Sigma-Aldrich Acquires Chinese Distributor, Expands in Shanghai

Sigma-Aldrich has increased its Shanghai operations and acquired Beijing Superior Chemicals and Instruments, the company said this week.

The acquisition of Beijing Superior — Sigma's main distributor in China with locations in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou — will increase the number of Sigma employees in China almost 10-fold, to 87. Since 75 percent of Beijing Superior's $22 million in annual revenues result from Sigma products, the acquisition will not immediately impact Sigma's sales in China.

Sigma said it has also established a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise, called Sigma-Aldrich (Shanghai) Trading Company; expanded its administrative offices in Shanghai; and opened a leased transit warehouse in Shanghai.

The company's expansion in China follows that of PerkinElmer, which opened a new technology center in Shanghai in late February.

"We've enjoyed spectacular growth since opening our representative office in Shanghai in 2002," said Eric Green, Sigma's vice president of international sales and operations, in a company statement. "Our ability to now provide sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities locally holds great promise for continuing that rapid growth for years to come."

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.