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Atugen, Genesis, ArborGen, Takara Bio, Chinese CDC, Affymetrix, Invitrogen

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Atugen Signs Deals for RNAi Drug Manufacture, Formulation

SR Pharma said last week that its Atugen subsidiary has signed agreements for the manufacture and formulation of its lead RNAi-based cancer drug, Atu027, with Genzyme Pharmaceuticals, BioSpring, and OctoPlus Development.

According to SR Pharma, Genzyme has already completed the GMP production of two of the main components of the delivery system for Atu027, namely the cationic lipid AtuFECT and the fusiogenic lipid.

German oligo manufacturer BioSpring, meanwhile, is manufacturing the proprietary siRNA molecules that are the main active ingredients of the drug.

Netherlands-based OctoPlus will scale-up the GMP formulation of the component ingredients within Atu027, SR Pharma added.

The three companies, SR Pharma said, will provide product for upcoming pharmacokinetic and toxicology studies, as well as clinical studies, which are slated to begin in 2007.


Genesis Receives $5.5M Payment Under ArborGen Settlement

Genesis Research and Development said last week that it has received $5.5 million from ArborGen pursuant to a litigation settlement agreement between the companies.

Genesis noted that it could receive an additional $1.5 million if certain ownership restructuring events occur in ArborGen prior to March 2007.

"The substantial increase in cash reserves will allow Genesis to develop its therapeutics business with additional vigor and to pursue new opportunities for development of the business," Stephen Hall, Genesis CEO, said in a statement.

ArborGen is a joint venture focused on creating genetic improvements in trees. According to Genesis, it was a member of the venture but in early 2005 was advised that members of ArborGen had taken legal steps to expel it from the project.

ArborGen and Genesis ultimately agreed to a settlement of the dispute under which Genesis will transfer to ArborGen all rights and ownership it has to certain ag-bio technology and patents. In exchange, Genesis was paid $5.5 million.


Takara Bio, Chinese CDC to Collaborate on RNAi-Based HIV Treatment

Takara Bio has signed an agreement with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to collaborate on the development of an RNAi-based treatment for HIV, the company said this week.

Additional details were not available.


Affymetrix Licenses Patents to Invitrogen for Manufacture of Nucleic Acid Arrays

Invitrogen has obtained a non-exclusive, worldwide license to a number of Affymetrix patents related to the manufacture of nucleic acid microarrays, the companies said this week.

Under the agreement, Invitrogen will now be allowed to "manufacture and sell spotted nucleic acid microarrays in the research field," the companies said. Financial details of the license were not disclosed.

The licensing deal is the third in seven months for Affy. In April, the microarray company licensed patents to Abbott Laboratories to enable it to manufacture and sell comparative genomic hybridization microarrays, readers, and software for research and diagnostics.

Last December, Affy licensed an undisclosed number of patents to Applied Biosystems related to the manufacture, sale, and use of microarrays for gene expression analysis.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.