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RXi Awarded NIGMS Grant to Improve Self-Delivering RNAi Agents


RXi Pharmaceuticals last month won a six-month grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences worth $273,824 to make improvements to its self-delivering RNAi technology.

With the funding, RXi plans to develop a panel of second-generation self-delivering RNAi molecules, called sd-rxRNAs, with “improved potency and pharmacology by incorporating modified nucleotide bases with lipophilic moieties,” according to the grant's abstract.

“A panel of lipophilically modified nucleotide phosphoramidites using position 5 of a uracil will be synthesized for initial screening,” the abstract notes. “These lipophilic monomers will be incorporated into an array of RNAi compounds that will be tested for enhanced potency in biological systems. Completion of this project is expected to develop a next generation of self-delivering rxRNA compounds with at least an order of magnitude better potency and improved pharmacology that can be used to develop RNAi drug candidates in multiple therapeutic areas.”

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.