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siRNA

According to a company official, future deals, as with the one with Nitto Denko, will be driven by Quark's freedom to operate in the siRNA drugs space.

Last week, EGEN said it had extended a collaboration with SurModics to develop a controlled-release system for siRNA delivery. As with its other programs, the company plans to let the delivery route determine the indications it pursues.

The technology is covered by 42 issued or allowed patents and 31 pending patent applications worldwide, according to Marina.

The partnership is expected to yield its first IND by 2012.

The combined grants are worth nearly $650,000 and are meant to support work on treatments for cancer and Huntington's disease.

The study is being conducted in Portugal, Sweden, and the UK and will enroll about 28 patients with the disease.

The drug targets adrenergic receptor beta-2 and is delivered topically to the eye.

Doing so, however, will require the company to secure additional funding, and it is currently evaluating its options, a company official said.

The provisions for the EU orphan designation provide incentives to companies developing orphan drugs, including the potential for up to 10 years of market exclusivity and various fee reductions for certain regulatory activities, Quark said.

The deal marks the latest move by RXi to expand its access to new delivery approaches, and may offer some clues as to the therapeutic course RXi is setting for itself, which it will disclose at an investor conference this week.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia's announcement of a coronavirus vaccine approval was met with concern as safety testing has not yet been completed.

New Scientist writes there aren't much data available on the accuracy of the two rapid COVID-19 tests the UK plans to roll out.

In PNAS this week: downstream effect of oncoprotein fusion, epigenetic changes influence tRNAs in colon cancer, and more.

Nature News reports that recent proposed changes to the US National Science Foundation have raised concerns about a shift away from the agency's focus on basic research.