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Atugen and Asinex

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Atugen Provides Update on Pipeline, Forms collaboration with Asinex

Atugen recently issued an updated corporate fact sheet, which included details about the company’s RNAi-based drug pipeline.

According to Atugen, it expects to have a treatment for age-related macular degeneration, called Atu012, in phase I by the end of 2005. The drug is being developed with an undisclosed partner.

Atugen also is expecting to have Atu012 and two other RNAi compounds, Atu014 and Atu027, in phase I studies for the treatment of advanced cancer sometime in mid- to late 2006.

Other partnered products for undisclosed diseases are expected to enter this clinic in 2007. Atugen announced last year that it had partnered with Sanofi-Aventis to develop siRNAs that have potential as drugs (see RNAi News, 9/17/2004).

Atugen also said this week that it has formed a cancer drug discovery and development collaboration with Asinex.

The two partners aim to develop compounds against PKN3, a kinase target involved in prostate cancer. Atugen will contribute its target discovery and in vivo screening expertise. Asinex, located in Moscow, will provide its drug design, medicinal chemistry, and in vitro screening knowledge. The companies said they will share the risk of the research, as well as future revenues.