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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Biosaxony and BioInnovation Center Dresden, Cellectricon, and CytRx and Imperial College London


Alnylam Lowers Share Price Range for IPO

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has lowered the range at which it expects its shares to float in a planned inital public offering to $5 to $8 per share from $10 to $12 per share, according to a company filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company still intends on selling 5 million shares of its common stock through the offering, plus an additional 750,000 being offered to the IPO’s underwriters to cover over-allotments.

However, under the new price range, the company will raise $34.5 million to $46 million, as opposed to the $57.5 million to $69 million under the original pricing plan.

German Biotech Initiative Inaugurates Dresden Research Center

Biosaxony, a German government campaign designed to promote the biotechnology sector in Saxony, announced today the inauguration of the BioInnovation Center Dresden (BIOZ).

BIOZ is a 10,000-square-meter biotechnology center designed to provide work space for both academic and industry researchers, primarily those focused on molecular bioengineering, cellular machines, functional genomics, and nano-biotechnology.

Already, BIOZ houses the biotech center of the Dresden University of Technology, Cenix BioScience, and Gene Bridges, among others, according to Biosaxony.

All three companies moved from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden.

Cellectricon Closes Series B Financing Round

Cellectricon said this week that it has completed its Series B round of financing, raising roughly $7 million. Investors in the round included InnovatiosCapital, Investor Growth Capital and Karolinska Investment Fund.

“Securing this new round of investment is a significant validation of our innovative technologies, business model and success with our first product, [the ion-channel drug-screening device] Dynaflow, thus far,” Jakob Lindberg, CEO of Cellectricon, said in a statement. “The funding will enable us to successfully launch Dynaflow globally and expand the product range with the next generation of Dynaflow chips.”

Cellectricon is also developing an electroporation technology that allows for the transfer of cell-impermeant solutes, such as molecular probes, drugs, DNA, RNA, antisense agents, and RNAi agents. The company recently received a US patent, number 6,521,430, covering the technology.

CytRx Licenses Obesity Drug Target from Imperial College

CytRx said last week that it has signed a licensing agreement with Imperial College Innovations, the technology transfer arm of Imperial College London, for the exclusive rights to intellectual property covering a drug screening method using the nuclear hormone co-repressor Rip140.

The technology, said CytRx, was developed by Imperial researcher Malcolm Parker, who found that when Rip140 is silenced in mice, the mice exhibit a lean profile, are resistant to obesity, and show an enhanced metabolic rate.

“This license brings us an exciting drug target in the area of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Steven Kriegsman, president and CEO of CytRx, said in a statement. “It is our ultimate objective with this discovery to develop a pill or an injectable [drug] that will help obese individuals lose weight and maintain their ideal body weight throughout their life.”

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.