Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

HHS Flu Plan Specifically Identifies RNAi, siRNA and Pledges Support

Premium

In a three-hour R&D presentation held in New York this week, Alnylam said it will advance its "pandemic" flu candidate with funding from a US government agency [see related story].

The company said it expects to submit an investigational new drug application "as early as the end of 2006" for an RNAi-based compound that will be designed to treat and prevent a wide array of influenza-related diseases.

Alnylam also said it will conduct its influenza research with $240,000 in "initial" funding from the US Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In addition, in a PowerPoint slide accompanying the presentation, Alnylam said RNAi therapeutics were "specifically recognized" in President Bush's $7.1 billion strategy for combating a "pandemic" influenza outbreak.

Indeed, in the Department of Health and Human Service's recently published Pandemic Influenza Plan, the government agency said that one ongoing research initiative includes "investigating RNA interference of influenza virus infection as a new way of preventing and treating influenza infection."

In a separate section in the publication, HHS said it "plans to accelerate development of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics by … supporting accelerated preclinical development including in vitro and animal model studies of promising countermeasures (e.g. siRNA and common-epitope vaccines, new immune-stimulating adjuvants, novel antiviral drugs, and genomic/proteomic microchip approaches to rapid diagnostics using surrogate markers of early infection)."

— Kirell Lakhman ([email protected])

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.