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Tekmira Begins Dosing Patients in Phase I Trial of Cancer Drug

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Tekmira Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has begun dosing patients in a phase I study of its siRNA-based cancer drug TKM-PLK1.

The agent targets polo-like kinase 1, a cell cycle protein involved in tumor cell proliferation, the company said.

"TKM-PLK1 has demonstrated anti-tumor efficacy in preclinical models of liver cancer, as well as tumors outside the liver, supporting our strong belief that PLK1 represents an excellent target for
RNAi," Tekmira President and CEO Mark Murray said in a statement.

The phase I trial is an open-label, multi-dose, dose-escalation study designed to
evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of TKM-PLK1, as well as determine the therapy's maximum tolerated dose. It will enroll up to 52 patients with advanced solid tumors.

Tekmira said that it will also measure tumor response and the pharmacodynamic effects of the drug in patients providing biopsies.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.