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

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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

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.