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Sirna, Open Biosystems, Ambion

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Sirna Selects HCV Drug Candidate

Sirna Therapeutics said this week that it has selected an RNAi compound for development as a hepatitis C therapeutic.

According to the company, the compound, called Sirna-AV34, is a systemically delivered, nanoparticle-based, chemically modified short interfering RNA that targets multiple sequences of the HCV genome. It is designed to inhibit viral replication and reduce the selection of drug-resistant mutant variants.

Sirna said that it has begun cGMP manufacturing of the compound for phase I clinical studies. Investigational new drug application-enabling toxicology studies are slated to start in the first quarter of 2006, with an IND filing expected in the fourth quarter.


Open Biosystems Signs Deals for RNAi Tech with Cancer Research Institutes

Open Biosystems said this week that it has signed on Duke University, the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, and Fox Chase Cancer Center as customers for its short hairpin RNA libraries for the identification of cancer treatment options.

According to Open Biosystems, the RNAi libraries can be used to screen entire genomes in a high-throughput manner, identifying tumor suppressors and possible drug targets.

"Open Biosystems' shRNAmir libraries enable us to manipulate gene expression and probe gene function on a whole-genome scale, accelerating a wide range of basic and translational research programs, including cancer research," Thomas Burke, general manager of technologies at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, said in a statement. "Rather than spending limited time and resources designing, constructing, and characterizing RNAi reagents, our researchers can now select shRNAmir clones targeting genes of interest, and place these into functional assays accelerating research that may lead to advanced treatment options for cancer."

Specific terms of the deals were not disclosed.


Ambion Delivers siRNA Libraries to European Research Groups

Ambion said this week that it has made the final shipment of its genome-wide human siRNA library to the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.

The company also said that it has completed delivery of a Silencer genome-wide human siRNA library to Europe's MitoCheck consortium.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.