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Ambion, Applied Biosystems, Bio CEO, Alnylam, CytoGenix, and IBC

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Ambion, Applied Biosystems Ink Co-marketing Deal

Ambion said this week that it has struck a co-marketing deal with Applied Biosystems, under which the companies will recommend each other’s products to their respective customers.

“[Applied Biosystems] is going to be recommending customers to purchase siRNAs from Ambion,” Ambion president Bruce Leander told RNAi News, adding that the companies conducted research to ensure that their products are compatible. “They’re sales reps can can use this as a nice linkage to the siRNA reagents used on their real-time [PCR products].”

In exchange, Ambion will undertake a certain amount of promotion of Applied Biosystems’ products, including listings on websites, he said.

“It’s really a marketing agreement … of current products that exist,” Leander added. “So they’re not stocking products [and] we’re not stocking products.”

Leander called the deal “a perfect marriage,” given that “they don’t have the ability to produce siRNA oligos and we don’t have the ability to sell and service real-time instruments.”

Under the terms of the deal, Ambion will also use Applied Biosystems’ TaqMan Assays-on-Demand gene expression products to validate their siRNA products.

Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.


Bio CEO Conference To Include Session On RNAi

The Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual CEO and Investor Conference will include this year a focus session on RNA interference.

The session, entitled “What’s All the Fuss About RNAi?” will include speakers from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Anadys Pharmaceuticals, CytRx, and Sirna Therapeutics.

The conference, which will also include corporate presentations by Genta and Isis Pharmaceuticals, is being held on Feb. 23-25 in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria. Details about the event can be found at http://www.bio.org/ceo/.


Alnylam Takes Non-exclusive License To Cold Spring Harbor Lab RNAi IP

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has signed a licensing deal acquiring the non-exclusive rights to RNAi intellectual property from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

According to the company, the IP covers gene silencing in mammalian cells using small interfering RNA molecules and stems from work by Greg Hannon. Alnylam’s licensing permits the company to use the IP for therapeutic applications.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


CytoGenix To Begin Preclinical Testing of Aerosol Gene Silencing Treatment for Lung Cancer

CytoGenix said this week that it has signed an agreement with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine to begin preclinical tests of the company’s single strand DNA expression vector technology in combination with Baylor’s aerosol gene delivery technology as a method of shutting off a gene that causes tumor metastasis.

The effort will be led by Baylor’s Charles Densmore, who will deliver the ssDNA compound into the lungs of mice.

“The combination of these technologies has great potential for treating metastatic lung cancers and other difficult to treat pulmonary disorders,” Densmore said in a prepared statement. “Our aerosol technology is non-invasive, and delivers directly to airway epithelial and pulmonary surfaces, thus avoiding many of the problems associated with intravenous delivery such as interaction with serum proteins, and difficulties in penetrating lung endothelial barriers.”


IBC Schedules RNAii, siRNAConfernece for Early February

IBC Life Sciences has scheduled for next month an RNAi meeting in Switzerland.

Entitled “RNAi and siRNA — The Facts Behind the Hype: From Biology to Applications,” the meeting will take place at the Zurich Hotel on Feb. 3-4.

Topics discussed at the event are to include target validation, as well as RNAi molecule design, delviery, stabilization, and therapeutic applications.

The meeting is also slated to include representatives from AstraZeneca, DevGen, Organon, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, Intradigm, Akceli, Galapagos Genomics, Mirus, Novosom, Alnylam, Ribopharma, Santaris, Amgen, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Cenix, and Sirna Therapeutics.

Technology providers will also host interactive tutorials detailing their products and services.

Details about the conference can be found at http://www.ibc-lifesci.com/rnai/default.asp?src=bantn.

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.