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Sirnaomics, NCI, InteRNA, VU University Medical Center

Sirnaomics Awarded NCI Grant to Develop Breast Cancer Therapy
Sirnaomics said this week that it has received a six-month Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute to study its multi-targeted siRNA drug technology in the treatment of breast cancer.
According to the grant project’s abstract, Sirnaomics will use histidine-lysine polymer carriers with siRNA cocktails to target three specific genes — endothelial growth factor receptor, Raf-1 and mTOR. The company will then combine the regimen with Genentech’s cancer drug Avastin “to mimic a clinical regimen,” the abstract said.
The NCI grant is worth $228,000, and runs from Sept. 22 to the end of February.

InteRNA, VU University Medical Center to Collaborate on miRNA-Based Rx, Dx for Cancer
InteRNA Technologies, based in the Netherlands, said this week that it has signed a research agreement with the VU University Medical Center to develop microRNA-based diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer.
According to the company, it will use its lentiviral-based miRNA over-expression library in “multi-parametric, high-throughput screening assays to identify the biological role of individual miRNAs and novel therapeutic targets in leukemia, colon, prostate, and head and neck cancer. In addition, diagnostic miRNA profiles will be developed through next-generation sequencing, in combination with InteRNA’s proprietary small RNA bioinformatics pipeline … on diverse patient sample sets” provided by the medical center.
Specific terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

The Scan

Suicidal Ideation-Linked Loci Identified Using Million Veteran Program Data

Researchers in PLOS Genetics identify risk variants within and across ancestry groups with a genome-wide association study involving veterans with or without a history of suicidal ideation.

Algorithm Teases Out Genetic Ancestry in Individuals at Biobank Scale

Researchers develop an algorithm known as Rye to tease apart ancestry fractions in admixed individuals at a biobank-scale, applying it to 488,221 UK Biobank participants in Nucleic Acids Research.

Multi-Ancestry Analysis Highlights Comparable Common Variants at Complex Trait-Linked Loci

Researchers in Nature Genetics examine common variants implicated in more than three dozen conditions, estimating genetic effect similarities across ancestry tracts in admixed individuals.

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.