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Rosetta, Asuragen, Exiqon, Agilent, Calando, Enzon, Santaris

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Rosetta, Asuragen, Exiqon Acquire Licenses to miRNA IP
 
The Max Planck Society said this week that it has granted Rosetta Genomics, Asuragen, and Exiqon licenses to patents covering hundreds of microRNA sequences for use in developing diagnostic tools.
 
Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
 
Also this week, Asuragen and Exiqon said that they have acquired a license to use proprietary miRNA sequences from Rockefeller University for diagnostic applications. Terms of this deal were also undisclosed.

Agilent to Manufacture siRNA for Calando Cancer Drug
 
Calando Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has signed on Agilent Technologies to manufacture the siRNA component of its preclinical cancer drug candidate, CALAA01.
 
Agilent will provide the siRNA component of CALAA01 for investigational new drug-enabling pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies, as well as cGMP production for a planned phase I clinical study, Calando said.
 
Terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Enzon, Santaris Ink Cancer Drug Development Deal
 
Enzon and Santaris Pharma said this week that that have formed a collaboration to develop and commercialize a series of RNA antagonists as cancer therapeutics based on Santaris’ locked nucleic acid technology.
 
LNAs are a class of nucleic acid analogs in which the ribose ring is locked by a methylene bridge connecting the 2'-O atom with the 4'-O atom, features designed to increase affinity and stability. Santaris holds the exclusive global rights to LNAs for therapeutic applications, while Exiqon owns the research and diagnostic rights to molecules.
 
Under the terms of the collaboration, Enzon is licensing two preclinical compounds from Santaris: an HIF-1 alpha antagonist called SPC2968, and a Survivin antagonist called SPC3042. Additionally, Enzon has licensed from Santaris six proprietary RNA antagonist candidates, which will be directed against novel oncology drug targets selected by Enzon.
 
Enzon will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize these compounds in the US and non-European territories, while Santaris will retain exclusive rights to commercialization in Europe, the companies said. Enzon and Santaris will share development data for use in their respective territories, they added.
 
Enzon will also make an $8 million payment to Santaris, and will pay an additional $3 million upon the successful identification of certain LNA targets. Additional payments will be made on the achievement of pre-specified discovery, development, and regulatory milestones. Should all milestones be reached, Santaris could receive more than $200 million under the deal.
 
Santaris also stands to receive royalties on sales of drugs resulting from the collaboration in Enzon territories.
 
Additional details were not disclosed.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.