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Qiagen and AstraZeneca, Nature Publishing and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, and AVI BioPharma and Medtronic


Qiagen Sells Synthetic DNA Business, Inks siRNA Supply Deal with AstraZeneca

Qiagen announced this week that it has sold its synthetic DNA business to a management team previously employed by the company and which operated parts of this business. Qiagen said that it will retain all rights to its siRNA business.

Under the terms of the deal, Qiagen will receive $24.3 million, $17.8 million of which is in cash with the remainder in a promissory note. Qiagen will also retain a 16 percent stake in the business, which will be named Operon Biotechnologies.

Qiagen said that it will receive preferred access to Operon’s synthetic nucleic acid manufacturing capacities, as well as preferred purchasing rights. Qiagen also said that it has the exclusive right to use these manufacturing capabilities for contract manufacturing of siRNA products.

Separately, Qiagen said that it has entered into a supply agreement for siRNA molecules with AstraZeneca.

Under this arrangement, Qiagen will be AstraZeneca’s preferred provider of siRNAs used in gene-silencing applications.

Financial terms of this deal were not disclosed.

Nature Publishing, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press Team Up for Nature Methods

Nature Publishing recently announced that Nature Methods — a methodology journal that features such content as primary research on methods and techniques, research highlights, reviews, technology features, and protocols — and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press have formed a joint venture.

According to Nature, Nature Methods and CSHLP are collaborating on the protocols appearing in the journal.

Nature Methods is set to be launched in October. A sample protocol, entitled Targeting Genes Expressed in Mammalian Cells Using siRNAs, can be found at

AVI, Medtronic Deal Terminated

AVI BioPharma reported this week the termination of its licensing deal with Medtronic to work on the delivery of AVI’s antisense therapy Resten-NG using medical devices such as stents and catheters for cardiovascular indications.

AVI has regained all rights to Resten-NG for all cardiovascular applications, including use with devices.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.