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Mark Kay, Amit Kumar, Edward Treska, Roberto Guerciolini, and Howard Robin

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Acacia Research said this week that its CombiMatrix subsidiary has appointed Mark Kay to its scientific advisory board.

Kay is a professor in the department of pediatrics and genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine. He also serves as director of the school’s human gene therapy program, said CombiMatrix.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Kay has joined our scientific advisory board,” Amit Kumar, president and CEO of CombiMatrix, said in a statement. “CombiMatrix’s technology enables a novel approach to developing RNAi drugs. As we expand our program in this area, Dr. Kay’s expertise and insights will be of tremendous value,” he added.

Acacia also announced this week that Edward Treska has joined the company as vice president of licensing. The company said that Treska would be responsible for licensing existing and new patent portfolios acquired by the company.


Sirna Therapeutics said this week that it has appointed Roberto Guerciolini to the newly created position of senior vice president of development and chief medical officer.

Guerciolini will be responsible for Sirna’s clinical development activities and regulatory affairs, the company said.

According to Sirna, Guerciolini was most recently senior director of clinical pharmacology and experimental medicine at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He received an MD from the University of Perugia Medical School, as well as an executive MBA from the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Dr. Guerciolini brings to Sirna tremendous experience throughout all phases of the drug development process, from the initiation of clinical programs to the filing of successful NDAs for commercialized products,” Sirna president and CEO Howard Robin said in a statement.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.