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Takara Bio, Isis Pharmaceuticals

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Takara Identifies New RNAi-Related Enzymes

Japanese drug maker Takara Bio said last week that it has discovered seven new RNAi enzymes.

According to the company, the enzymes, which were discovered by screening various bacteria, can identify and cleave specific sequences of single-stranded RNAs. Takara also said that one of the enzymes, MazF, can impact HIV infection by inducing apoptosis in cells that have had Tat genes introduced.

Takara said that it sees the enzymes being used for HIV gene therapy, a single protein production system that enables targeted proteins to be produced, and reagents for RNA engineering.

Details about the enzymes will be presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan to be held Dec. 7-10, the company added.


Isis Inks Deal to Place $51 Million in Common Stock

Isis Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has signed an agreement to privately place 12 million shares of its stock at a price of $4.25 per share for proceeds of $51 million.

The deal is expected to close this week, at which point the buyers of the stock will also receive warrants to purchase approximately 3 million shares of Isis stock at an exercise price of $5.23 per share.

The net proceeds from the offering will be approximately $48 million, and will be used for research, drug discovery, and development activities, including preclinical and clinical studies, capital expenditures, and other general corporate purposes, Isis said.


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