single-stranded RNAi

Alnylam said it had decided to exercise its right to terminate the ssRNAi collaboration, thereby returning all licenses to ssiRNAi technology back to Isis and eliminating its requirement to pay research funding.

The private placement, the New Zealand-based company said, is expected to close within the next two weeks.

Work on single-stranded RNAi technology that Genesis had been conducting for its subsidiary Solirna Biosciences has also ceased, although it may restart if an existing investor provides additional financing.

Genesis said it once again needs additional financing to allow its subsidiary to demonstrate in vivo proof of principle for its ssRNAi, a milestone that will trigger additional funding by a key investor.

As reported by RNAi News earlier this month, the long-struggling Genesis recently received a commitment from Japanese biotech firm MediBic Group to invest up to NZ$1 million ($750,000) in the planned subsidiary, Solirna BioSciences.

According to Genesis, the primary investor in the subsidiary is Japan's MediBic Group, which is primarily a pharmacogenomics firm but has made investments in RNAi drug shop Intradigm.

Genesis said that it has received a commitment from an undisclosed group for an investment in the subsidiary, which would develop its single-stranded RNAi technology. But with about two months worth of cash in the bank, the company is asking shareholders to make new equity investments.

The cash-strapped shop is betting that such a unit would embolden investors to back Genesis' ssRNAi technology independent of the company's other RNAi programs.

The US Food and Drug Administration has new guidelines that enable some gene and cell therapies to undergo expedited review, according to the New York Times.

Using gene drives to control invasive species might be too risky, an initial advocate of the approach says.

Researchers have grown tumors in 3D cell cultures to better understand cancer, the Economist reports.

In Science this week: intellectual property experts argue patent battles such as the one over CRISPR are wasteful, and more.