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Alnylam Grants IP License to Tekmira for Ebola Drug


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has granted partner Tekmira Pharmaceuticals a new license to use its intellectual property to discover, develop, and commercialize an RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of Ebola virus infection.

Under the deal, Alnylam stands to receive royalties on sales of products developed using the licensed technology. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Tekmira is developing an siRNA-based Ebola therapeutic called TKM-EBOLA, which it expects to advance to the investigational new drug application-filing stage in the second half of 2011.

Earlier this year, the company received a contract worth up to $140 million from the US Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program to develop the drug (GSN 8/19/2010).

Separately, the company received a $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop RNAi therapeutics against Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever viral infections.

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.