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.

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