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FDA Clears Tekmira to Begin Phase I Study of siRNA-Based Cholesterol Drug

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The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Tekmira Pharamceuticals' investigational new drug application for its siRNA-based hypercholesterolemia drug ApoB SNALP, the company said this week.

The drug targets apolipoprotein B, a protein involved in cholesterol metabolism. In the planned phase I study, escalating doses of ApoB SNALP will be examine for safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics in about 30 adults with elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, according to the company.

The trial is also expected to yield some data on the drug's ability to lower serum LDL cholesterol levels, Tekmira added. Results from the study are expected in late 2009 or early 2010.

The Scan

Taking Stock of the Stockpile

The US and European countries are evaluating their smallpox vaccine stockpiles as the number of monkeypox cases increases, the Washington Post reports.

Vitamin D From Tomatoes

According to Reuters, researchers in the UK have gene-edited tomatoes so their fruit contains vitamin D.

Cause Not Yet Spotted

NPR reports that a new study was unable to find a cause for persistent long COVID symptoms.

PNAS Papers on Central African Hunter-Gatherers, Myopia Development, Ancient Microtia Allele

In PNAS this week: population patterns among Central African hunter gatherers, effect of myopia-linked gene variant, and more.