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Mergers and Acquisitions in the RNAi Drugs Field, 2003 -- 2005

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Mergers and Acquisitions in the RNAi Drugs Field, 2003 — 2005
Companies Deal Date Announced
SR Pharma and Atugen After shopping itself around, Atugen finds a buyer in UK-based SR Pharma. The deal gives SR Pharma a pipeline of RNAi drug candidates after it stopped development of another compound last year. June 21, 2005
Sirna Therapeutics and Skinetics Sirna bought Skinetics in order to pick up its RNAi technology for permanent hair removal. The deal cost Sirna about $2.4 million in stock, exclusive of milestones and royalties. Dec. 8, 2004
Benitec and Avocel Benitec acquired Avocel for $5.4 million in stock as part of its effort to establish a US base of operations. The deal also gave Benitec its first in-house drug development program: hepatitis C. May 17, 2004
Invitrogen and Sequitur Invitrogen bought Sequitur to acquire its Stealth RNAi technology and expand its line of RNAi research products. Sequitur had been developing the technology for therapeutic applications, but Invitrogen has stated that it remains focused on providing products for life science research and has no plans to expand into drug development. Nov. 4, 2003
Genta and Salus Therapeutics Genta acquired Salus for $13 million in stock, and up to an additional $17 million in stock or cash upon the achievement of certain milestones. The deal gave Genta access to RNAi technology, but the company has made little mention of its activities in this area since its failures with the antisense cancer drug Genasense. Aug. 14, 2003
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Ribopharma Alnylam acquired Germany-based Ribopharma in a deal that not only gave it ownership of the Kreutzer-Limmer IP portfolio, but also satisfied a key requirement of its licensing the Tuschl-1 and Tuschl-2 patent applications from the Max Planck Society. July 7, 2003
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.