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Icoria and Rosetta Genomics, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Isis Pharmaceuticals and Max Planck Society, Sirna Therapeutics, and Benitec and Panomics


Icoria to Commercialize Rosetta Genomics’ MicroRNA Technology

Icoria said last week that it has signed an agreement to commercialize Rosetta Genomics’ MirChip microRNA detection and analysis technology.

Icoria said the commercialization will take place through its Paradigm Array Labs unit. The launch of MirChip is slated for Oct. 26 at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting in Toronto.

Alnylam, Isis License MicroRNA Technology from Max Planck

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it and Isis Pharmaceuticals has co-exclusively licensed certain intellectual property related to all therapeutic uses of microRNAs from the Max Planck Society.

According to Alnylam, the IP gives the companies rights to patent applications based on the work of Thomas Tuschl, a co-founder of Alnylam.

In March this year, Alnylam formed a strategic alliance with Isis that included a cross licensing of IP and Isis’ purchase of $10 million worth of Alnylam stock (see RNAi News, 3/19/2004). Around this time, Isis also withdrew its opposition to a European patent related to RNAi that Alnylam picked up when it acquired Germany’s Ribopharma (see RNAi News, 1/16/2004).

Sirna Says It Will Pursue RNAi Drugs for Huntington’s Disease

Sirna Therapeutics said this week that it will move ahead with the development of an siRNA-based treatment for the degenerative brain disorder Huntington’s disease.

The company said that it expects to select compounds for preclinical development in early 2005.

Benitec Licenses RNAi Technology to Panomics, Inks Deal for Stanford Technology

Benitec said this week that it has granted a non-exclusive license giving Panomics the right to make DNA-directed RNAi-based products.

According to Benitec, Panomics develops tools for proteomic analysis including transcriptional-regulation and cell-signaling arrays.

The company said it has now granted six non-exclusive product licenses to the ddRNAi technology.

Benitec also said last week that it has obtained an exclusive license to use Stanford University’s Minicircle DNA technology.

Terms of the agreement allow Benitec to use the technology “for all RNAi therapeutic uses, with sub-licensing rights.”

Minicircles was developed by Mark Kay, professor of pediatrics and genetics at Stanford, and a consultant to Benitec. It enables gene expression “up to 500 times greater” than with traditional plasmid DNA, according to Benitec.

“This license advances Benitec’s ability to build effective RNAi therapeutics for our in-house disease programs and supports our pathfinder approach to the overall development of RNAi therapeutics,” the company said in a statement. “We will ... continue to identify in-licensing opportunities for Benitec in delivery methods and clinical targets from other leading centers of innovation in both the United States and abroad.”

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.