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Millipore, Genta and Genasense, Invitrogen, CytRx, and CalbaTech and KSE Scientific

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RNAi Screening Center To Use Millipore Filter Plates

Millipore said this week that the Drosophila RNAi Screening Center at Harvard Medical School has chosen the company’s size-exclusion MultiScreen PCR96 filter plates for the purification of double-stranded RNA.

“This high throughput system enabled us to prepare 21,000 dsRNA samples that previously were screened one at a time in columns,” Susan Armknecht, the Drosophila RNAi Screening Center administrator, said in a statement. “We created a protocol that other university researchers can use in our laboratory to support dsRNAi studies.”


Genta Says Genasense Fails to Meet Primary Endpoint in Phase III Trial

Genta said last week that the company’s antisense cancer drug Genasense has failed to meet the primary endpoint of a phase III trial in multiple myeloma patients.

The trial had been designed to evaluate whether the addition of Genasense to standard therapy with high-dose dexamethasone could increase the time to development of progressive disease in patients who previously had received extensive therapy, the company said. Specific details of the study are to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego on Dec. 4.

“The strength of the preclinical data, combined with results from two preliminary, non-randomized trials, provided a strong rationale for this Phase 3 study,” Raymond Warrell, Genta’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “While we are disappointed with these results, we plan to analyze this trial in considerably more detail before making decisions regarding the Genasense program in myeloma.”

In May, a US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended that the agency not approve Genasense for advanced melanoma, finding that the company did not provide enough evidence of the drug’s benefits. Earlier this month, Aventis withdrew from a deal to jointly develop and commercialize Genasense with Genta.


Invitrogen to Provide Financial Guidance Dec. 9

Invitrogen said last week that it would provide detailed financial guidance for 2005 during a conference call set for Dec. 9.

The call will also feature a discussion of the company’s guidance for its expected financial performance for the full-year 2004.

The call can be accessed in the investor relations section of Invitrogen’s website at http://www.invitrogen.com.


CytRx Says Cardiovascular Disease Drug Effective in Mouse Model

CytRx said this week that preclinical data indicates the company’s small molecule drug candidate iroxanadine may be effective in treating cardiovascular disease.

According to the company, experiments demonstrated that iroxanadine significantly reduced plaque formation and arterial thickening in mouse models of atherosclerosis.

Iroxanadine is one of the three drugs CytRx acquired when it purchased Biorex Research and Development in October (see RNAi News, 10/8/2004).


CalbaTech to Acquire KSE Scientific

CalbaTech said this week it plans to acquire laboratory supplies distributor KSE Scientific for an undisclosed sum.

Irvine, Calif.-based CalbaTech said the acquisition would strengthen its position in the life sciences market by adding a large-scale distribution operation to sell products from its research reagents division. That division includes its Molecula unit and the recently acquired K-D Medical.

Privately held KSE, which is based in Research Triangle Park, NC, had revenues in excess of $5.1 million in 2003 and is expected to bring in revenue of more than $6.7 million in 2004, CalbaTech said today. Among the firm’s customers are Labcorp, the National Cancer Institute, and Mayo Clinic.

 

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.