Ambion Licenses microRNA Sequences from Rosetta Genomics
Rosetta Genomics and Ambion have signed an agreement that will give Ambion access to Rosetta's proprietary microRNA sequences, the companies said this week.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ambion will adapt its platform to detect, quantify, and characterize proprietary microRNA sequences discovered by Rosetta, a developer of microRNA-based therapeutics and diagnostics.
Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Alnylam, Isis Ink Co-Exclusive microRNA IP Licensing Deal with Stanford
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Isis Pharmaceuticals said this week that they have signed a co-exclusive license agreement to acquire from Stanford University intellectual property related to the discovery and development of therapeutics for hepatitis C infection by inhibiting liver-specific microRNAs.
The companies noted that a paper, published in the Sept. 2, 2005 issue of Science and authored by Stanford researcher Catherine Jopling and colleagues, demonstrates how a microRNA known as mir-122 is required for hepatitis C virus replication in mammalian cells. According to the paper, miR-122 interacts directly with a specific 5' noncoding sequence of the HCV genome leading to increased abundance of the viral mRNA, said the companies. Antagonism of mir-122 function using an antisense oligonucleotide resulted in a dramatic decrease of viral RNA.
Galapagos to Use siRNA Vectors to Help Dutch Partners Develop Spinal Disorder Drugs
Galapagos said this week that it will help Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics, the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam develop treatments for acute spinal cord and peripheral nerve damage.
The collaboration, funded in part by a €2 million ($2.5 million) grant from the Dutch government organization Senter, aims to develop drugs that promote nerve regeneration and reduce the effect of neural scarring, Galapagos said.
Terms of the deal call for the Dutch company to provide access to its siRNA vectors on a fee-for-service basis. It is hoped that access to this technology will enable the partners to "discover protein targets involved in regeneration of injured nerve tissue."
Once these targets have been identified, Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics will develop technologies based on their gene therapy platform. The Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, meantime, will use its expertise in neuroregeneration and microarray technology and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will analyze nerve cell growth to further develop the therapeutics, according to Galapagos.
Invitrogen Signs Cancer Biomarker Deal with Hutchinson Cancer Center
Invitrogen will use its ProtoArray protein microarrays to develop diagnostic and screening tools for cancer under a collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the partners announced this week.
Invitrogen said it would apply its protein and antibody collections to the collaboration with researchers in the lab of Sam Hanash. The firm will have rights under the multi-year program to license technologies that result from the collaboration. Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.
This is Invitrogen's second partnership within the past year aimed at discovering cancer biomarkers. The first, signed in December 2004, is with the Mayo Clinic. Under that collaboration, Invitrogen provides financial and research support for multiple biomarker discovery programs at Mayo, and has an option to license and develop resulting technology on an exclusive and non-exclusive basis.