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Enzo Therapeutics, Genta, Sigma-Aldrich

Enzo Begins Treating Patient in Clinical Study of Antisense-Based HIV Therapy
Enzo Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Enzo Biochem, said this week that it has treated the first patient in a phase I/II clinical study of an antisense-based gene therapy for HIV-1 infection.
The study is enrolling HIV-1 infected subjects with compromised CD4+ cell counts to determine whether the procedure will create sufficient HIV-1 resistant CD4+ cells to defer disease progression to AIDS, Enzo said. Enrollment is continuing under a modified protocol designed to increase the proportion of engineered stem cells that engraft in the patient's bone marrow.
Patients will receive the company’s StealthVector HGTV43 gene construct, which is designed to transfer antisense genes designed to interfere with HIV-1 growth into the patients’ stem cells.

Genta Closes $11M Stock Placement
Beleaguered antisense drug developer Genta said this week that it has closed an offering of 30 million common shares to institutional investors for gross proceeds of $11 million.
Genta has faced a number of setbacks recently, including the rejection of its lead drug candidate, the antisense-based cancer therapy Genasense, by the US Food and Drug Administration. The company, which recently underwent a corporate reorganization, is appealing this regulatory decision.

Sigma-Aldrich Initiates $200M Credit Facility for European Business
Sigma-Aldrich said this week it has initiated a $200 million credit facility in Europe that will mature in seven years.
The company said it will use the cash from the multi-currency revolving facility in its European operations for general purposes, including possible acquisitions.
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UJF are co-leaders and bookrunners for a group of seven banks involved in the deal.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.