Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

AVI BioPharma, Lorus Therapeutics, GeneGo and Invitrogen, and Mirus


AVI Presents Data Showing Antisense Compounds Inhibit Dengue Virus In Vitro

AVI BioPharma said this week that it has presented data from a preclinical study showing that the company’s antisense compounds are capable of inhibiting dengue virus.

“This presentation describes how AVI’s Neugene antisense compounds specifically block dengue viral replication in cell culture,” Patrick Iversen, senior vice president of research and development at AVI, said in a statement. “These results suggest that our Neugene antisense compound has therapeutic potential for the control of dengue virus infections.”

The study, said AVI, examined the ability of the company’s antisense compounds to inhibit the replication of dengue virus strains 1 through 4. The best antisense compounds were effective against viral infection in cultured cells and were found to inhibit viral titer by up to one million-fold, said the company.

Lorus Says Subsidiary Issued European Patent for Tumor Suppressor Gene

Lorus Therapeutics said this week that its antisense subsidiary, GeneSense Technologies, has received a European patent covering the treatment of cancer using a gene that suppresses the growth of malignant tumors.

The patent, entitled “Suppression of Malignancy Utilizing Ribonucleotide Ruductase R1,” covers the use of a vector delivery system to deliver the tumor suppressor gene sequence to cancer cells, said Lorus.

“The discovery of a gene that has the ability to suppress malignant growth is an important achievement for Lorus, and we are working vigorously to determine how this discovery can best be developed for the benefit of cancer patients,” Jim Wright, Lorus’ CEO, said in a statement. “Gene therapy is an exciting cutting-edge area of research and represents Lorus’ fourth core technology platform under development.”

GeneGo Inks Deal with Invitrogen

GeneGo, a Mich.-based company that develops computational platforms for data integration and analysis, said this week that it has signed a multi-year deal to develop “new capabilities” with Invitrogen.

Specific details of the arrangement were not disclosed, but will “be divulged in greater detail as milestones of the collaboration are achieved,” said GeneGo.

Mirus Reports Development of Gene Delivery Method

Mirus said this week that it has developed a method to deliver therapeutic genes to muscle via the blood stream.

The approach involved temporarily occluding blood flow in an arm or leg using a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff, then intravenously injecting a plasmid DNA solution, the company said. With the pressure elevated in the occlusion zone, the blood vessel wall becomes more permeable and the pDNA can migrate into the adjoining muscle cells. More details on the method will be reported in the journal Molecular Therapy, said Mirus.

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.