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Isis Pharmaceuticals, Novosome, Calando Pharmaceuticals

Isis Q1 Losses Down on Strong Revenue Increase
Isis Pharmaceuticals this week reported a 58 percent drop in first-quarter losses amid increased revenues as the company benefited from payments from collaborators.
For the quarter, Isis’ net loss fell to $8.8 million, or $0.05 per share, from a year-ago loss of $20.9 million, or $0.16 per share.
Revenues in the quarter surged to $21.4 million from $2.5 million in the same period a year earlier as Isis recognized payments from new collaborators including Genzyme, which recently partnered with Isis on its phase II cholesterol drug mipomersen.
The company’s total expenses in the first quarter rose to $26.4 million from $21 million in 2007, in part due to an increase in research and development spending to $26.4 million from $20 million.
As of March 31, Isis had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaling $338.4 million compared to $193.7 million at the end of 2007.

Novosome Announces US, European Patents for Delivery Technology
Novosome said this week that it has been issued US and European patents for its Smarticles drug-delivery technology.
Smarticles are fully charged, reversible liposomes for the in vivo drug delivery of nucleotides including siRNA to target cells, according to the company.
The US patent, No. 7,371,404, is entitled “Amphoteric liposomes and their use” and claims “amphoteric liposomes [that] comprise positive and negative membrane-based or membrane-forming charge carriers, as well as the use of these liposomes,” according to its abstract.
The European patent, EP 1363601, has the same title.
“In addition to the patents already granted Novosome, [these patents form] a part of the strong intellectual property position Novosome is building in the growing field of nucleic-acid drugs based on RNA interference,” Novosome CEO Elias Papatheodorou said in a statement.

Calando Issued Chinese Patent for RNAi Technology
Calando Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Arrowhead Research, said this week that it has been issued a Chinese patent covering all methods of using any RNAi construct formulated in a “supramolecular complex" to attenuate the expression of any target gene.
The patent, No. 28266625, is entitled "Methods and compositions for therapeutic use of RNA interference." The company added that it also claims pharmaceutical compositions of matter containing RNAi constructs "adapted for pulmonary or nasal delivery" to the lungs.
“We are pleased that the Chinese Patent Office has affirmed the pioneering efforts of Calando in the area of RNAi delivery," Calando CEO James Hamilton said in a statement. "This patent greatly enhances Calando's … international intellectual property position with respect to the delivery of RNAi-based drugs."

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.