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Under the agreement, the companies will examine the ability of the PTD-DRBD technology to deliver siRNAs against undisclosed targets, with an eye toward developing RNAi therapeutics.

The program is designed to support the collection and analysis of "informative molecular activity and cellular feature signatures" in response to siRNAs, small molecules, and other perturbing agents in a variety of cell types.

Although Quark initially expects to market the drug as a treatment for a rare condition known as non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, it hopes it can eventually develop it as a glaucoma treatment.

Alnylam previously released data from a phase IIa study of the drug in RSV-infected adult lung transplant patients showing that it was safe and well tolerated. While the data indicated a certain level of efficacy, this demonstration was less robust than many industry watchers had expected.

The designation allows for possible research and development incentives, and qualifies the company for tax credits and a period of market exclusivity following market approval.

The patent describes the modulation of claudins, which are proteins associated with tumor progression and metastasis.

The company's core technology is dubbed PRINT, or Pattern Replication In Non-wetting Templates. It involves making templates of specific patterns, on which a proprietary non-stick polymer is applied to create a mold.

The collaboration will focus on Bioo's Targeted Transport Technology, which involves joining a carrier agent to a monoclonal antibody to produce a conjugate that is then loaded with an RNAi molecule such as an siRNA or miRNA mimic, to deliver anti-HIV siRNAs into T cells.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has become a member of Thermo Fisher's RNAi Global Initiative.

The deal will allow Koken to manufacture and sell siRNA research products covered by certain of Alnylam's RNAi-related intellectual property.


The Washington Post reports that a Russian Academy of Sciences commission has led to the retraction of hundreds of scientific papers.

News 4 Jax reports that a Florida bill to prevent life and long-term care insurers from using genetic information in their coverage decisions has easily passed one committee.

The Los Angeles Times' Daily Pilot reports the chief executive of Vantari Genetics has pleaded guilty in a kickback scheme.

In Science this week: potentially pathogenic mutations found in hematopoietic stem cells from young healthy donors, and more.