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CytRx, DevGen, Fisher Scientific, and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery


CytRx Says Accounting Review Delays Annual Report Filing

CytRx said last week in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it was unable to file its annual report for the year 2003 by the March 30 deadline due to accounting issues related to two subsidiaries that the company has decided to write off.

In January, CytRx said that it had decided to end its investments in firms Blizzard Genomics and Psynomics, and that it would write off its ownership stakes in the two companies for a one-time fourth-quarter charge.

In an SEC filing dated April 1, CytRx said that the investments in Blizzard and Psynomics “had a carrying value, as of September 30 … of approximately $5.85 million and were accounted for as intangible assets.” The company added that it is “reviewing the accounting treatment of the purchase and subsequent impairment of those investments with the assistance of its auditors.”

As a result, CytRx said that it has not yet completed the preparation of its annual report, but that it anticipates the financial results for the fourth quarter of 2003 “will not substantially differ from CytRx’s operating results for the third quarter.”

The company noted that if it files the financial report before April 15, the filing may be treated as “having been timely filed under the [SEC’s] rules.”

DevGen Moves into New Facilities

DevGen said last week that it has moved into new research facilities located in the same Ghent, Belgium-based research park as its previous facilities.

The new building, said the company, includes 6,000 square meters of workspace, of which 80 percent is expected to be used for laboratory operations.

“The project is a key strategic point of the company,” DevGen CEO Thierry Bogaert said in a statement. “As we look to grow our discovery initiatives and as we have entered into new research collaborations, the new facilities are an important key to success.”

Fisher Scientific Completes $80 Million Dharmacon Acquisition

Fisher Scientific said last week that it has consummated its $80 million cash acquisition of Dharmacon.

Fisher announced that it had signed the acquisition deal in February in an effort to expand its presence in the life sciences market and boost sales of higher-margin, proprietary products (see RNAi News, 2/13/2004).

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery Features Overview of Gene Silencing Technologies

An overview of nucleic acid-based gene silencing technologies and their application in the areas of functional genomics and therapeutics, written by Rockefeller University researcher Thomas Tuschl and Rockefeller graduate student Yair Dorsett, has been published in the April issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.

“We are in the dawn of a new age in functional genomics driven by RNAi methods,” the authors noted in the article. “Although there are technical challenges associated with the therapeutic application of siRNAs, such as synthesis, delivery and specificity, they currently offer numerous advantages over other gene-silencing approaches.”

They added that researchers are likely to benefit from the years of research done on antisense, and that “further research into the fundamental mechanisms of RNAi could unveil new dimensions of siRNA-mediated gene silencing that will have profound implications for understanding gene regulation, and which could also affect the development of functional genomics and therapeutic applications.”

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.