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Johns Hopkins, University of Manitoba, Open Biosystems, Rosetta, NYU Medical Center, Protiva Biotherapeutics, Inex Pharmaceuticals

Johns Hopkins, University of Manitoba Join Open Biosystems’ Open Access Program
Open Biosystems said this week that Johns Hopkins University and the University of Manitoba have joined the company’s Open Access program.
As part of the program, the universities have purchased access to Open Biosystems’ shRNAmir and shRNA technologies for RNAi, the company added.
Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Open Biosystems established the Open Access program last year in order to make its genome-wide shRNA libraries more affordable for the company's academic customer base (see RNAi News, 2/2/2006).
Both the shRNAmir and shRNA technologies covered under the arrangements with Johns Hopkins and the University of Manitoba are the subject of a patent infringement suit between Open Biosystems and Sigma-Aldrich (see RNAi News, 3/1/2007).

Rosetta, NYUMedicalCenter Partner on Cancer Dx Development
Rosetta Genomics said this week that it has partnered with New York University Medical Center to develop a line of early detection diagnostic products for lung and mesothelioma cancers.
The diagnostics are expected to incorporate Rosetta’s proprietary protocol to extract microRNAs from a blood draw.
"A test that will be able to detect cancer at an early stage using a simple blood draw will have far reaching implications on the fight against cancer," Harvey Pass, an NYU Medical Center investigator, said in a statement.

Inex Bankruptcy Petition Against Protiva Withdrawn
Protiva Biotherapeutics said this week that Inex Pharmaceuticals has withdrawn a court petition seeking to have Protiva declared bankrupt.
Protiva, which was spun out of Inex in 2001, is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Inex over the rights to an oligo delivery technology (see RNAi News, 9/14/2006). Inex claims that a license it granted Protiva for the technology does not cover RNAi applications, while Protiva believes it developed and owns the technology for these purposes.
According to Protiva, Inex filed the bankruptcy petition earlier this year in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, charging that Protiva had not paid Inex Cdn$71,882.89 ($64,011.41) for certain patent costs incurred by Inex in 2006.
Protiva said it paid the money to Inex in order to avoid the legal cost of fighting the petition.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.