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

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

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.