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The study has also laid the groundwork for similar efforts in other crops, leading to a newly developed high-oleic safflower oil.

The company also disclosed that it intends to continue working on its non-HBV RNAi drugs that have entered human testing, but was less clear about earlier-stage ones.

The news marks a key milestone for Tekmira, which announced earlier this month that it would merge with OnCore Biopharma to become an HBV-focused drug developer.

The company is also pushing ahead with a microRNA-replacement therapy that is designed to improve patient response to colon cancer treatment.

The news marks the latest setback for the company, which came under fire late last year over disappointing clinical results on the drug.

Following the transaction, hepatitis B will become Tekmira's top priority, although the company said it will continue work on its other RNAi programs.

The arrangement includes exclusive rights to certain disease targets and non-exclusive rights to platform technologies.

The program is part of the company's BioDirect initiative, which relates to the use of topically applied RNAi-based treatments for pest, weed, and disease control in crop plants.

The RNAi-based drug is designed to specifically target the strain of the virus responsible for the current outbreak.

Advances in human genetics and siRNA delivery have helped drive the programs, according to company officials.

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The US Patent and Trademark Office is opening another interference proceeding in the CRISPR patent fight.

There's increasing genetic evidence that a number of ancient hominins may have contributed to the human gene pool, according to Discover's The Crux blog.

The Japan News writes that Japan needs to seize the opportunity to ensure that a wide number of people benefit from personalized cancer treatments.

In Cell this week: messenger RNA expression and translation, RNA localization atlas, and more.