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Isis Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Nucleonics and Apath, and Galadeno and Celgene

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Isis, Lilly Antisense Drug Moves into Phase I Testing

Isis Pharmaceuticals said this week that the first antisense drug to come from the company’s collaboration with Eli Lilly has moved into phase I testing.

The drug, called LY2181308, targets survivin, a molecule that supports the survival of cells that would normally die through programmed cell death or apoptosis, said Isis. Survivin helps in the abnormal growth of cancer cells, and is found in many types of tumors, the company added.

With the advancement of LY2181308 into human testing, Isis said it earned a $1.5 million milestone payment from Lilly.


Alnylam Reports Q3 Results

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals reported last week its financial results for the third quarter, posting a drop in net loss amid a drop in operating costs.

The company’s net loss for the quarter was $6.4 million, down from a loss of $12 million in the third quarter of 2003.

Research and development spending in the third quarter was $4.8 million, versus $4.2 million in the same period a year earlier, while general and administrative costs jumped to $3 million from $2.3 million. Overall operating expenses fell to $7.8 million in the third quarter from $11.2 million in the year-ago quarter, in part due to a $4.6 million in-process research and development charge in the third quarter of 2003.

Revenues in the period, derived entirely from research collaborators, increased to $1.4 million from $74,000 in the third quarter last year.

As of Sept. 30, Alnylam had cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities totaling $44.9 million.


Nucleonics Licenses Hep C Patent from Apath

Nucleonics said this week that it has signed a deal acquiring a non-exclusive license from Apath to a patent covering the use of the 3’ non-translated region of the hepatitis C viral genome.

According to Nucleonics, it is using this region as a target in its development of an expressed RNAi-based therapeutic for hepatitis C. Nucleonics President and CEO Robert Towarnicki told RNAi News that Apath holds a patent to the region for a variety of uses, and his company essentially took a non-exclusive license to use it in the development of its RNAi drugs.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Galadeno, Celgene Ink Target Discovery Deal

Galadeno, a unit of Galapagos Genomics, has signed a deal to provide its adenoviral siRNA and cDNA libraries, as well as its SilenceSelect and FlexSelect technologies, to Celgene for target discovery.

The terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.