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Dublin City University, Sigma-Aldrich, Alnylam, Inex, Protiva

Dublin City University Joins Sigma-Aldrich’s RNAi Partnership Program
Sigma-Aldrich said this week that Dublin City University has joined the company’s RNAi Partnership Program.
The program was established earlier this year as part of Sigma-Aldrich’s bid to strengthen ties between the company and academic users of its RNAi and other functional genomics products, as well as boost the company's visibility in the RNAi space (see RNAi News, 4/27/2006).
Participants in the program will get early access to new Sigma-Aldrich technologies, and will have a dedicated support team to assist with products from the company's functional genomics product portfolio.
Other members of the RNAi Partnership Program include Rutgers University; the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey; the Wistar Institute; Tufts University; Washington University of Saint Louis; and Moore's Cancer Center, UCSD.

Alnylam Initiates Experimental Infection Study of RSV Drug
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has initiated a phase I experimental infection study of its respiratory syncytial virus drug ALN-RSV01.
The trial’s protocol calls for 40 healthy adults to receive gradually increasing levels of virus in order to determine the optimal infectious inoculum, Alnylam said. “Following determination of the optimal level of the RSV inoculum, Alnylam expects the next stage of this program will be performed with a separate clinical protocol using ALN-RSV01 in order to investigate the drug's anti-viral properties,” the drug developer added.
Alnylam said that a phase II trial of ALN-RSV01 in naturally infected patients is expected to begin in the first half of 2007.

Canadian Court OKs Inex’s Planned Spin Out, Rules Protiva’s US Suit Can Proceed
Inex Pharmaceuticals this week said that the British Columbia Supreme Court has ruled the company can proceed with its planned spin out of its assets into a newly created firm, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.
The spin-out plan calls for the transfer of all Inex’s assets to Tekmira, including its drug-delivery collaboration with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (see RNAi News, 3/30/2006). One-time Inex subsidiary Protiva Biotherapeutics had challenged the spin out as part of an ongoing legal dispute over the drug-delivery technology that includes Alnylam and Sirna Therapeutics (see RNAi News, 11/9/2006).
According to Protiva, it has until Dec. 27 to appeal the court’s ruling.
Protiva also said this week that the court dismissed Inex’s request to block Protiva from moving ahead with its lawsuit against Inex in San Francisco (see RNAi News, 9/14/2006).

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.