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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

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.