transkingdom RNAi

Marina Biotech said this week that it has regained the rights to the use of its transkingdom RNAi technology for agriculture and veterinary applications.

CEQ508 is based on Cequent Pharmaceuticals' so-called transkingdom RNAi technology, and is designed to inhibit the oncogene beta-catenin, which is expected to prevent new polyp formation associated with the disease.

The patent applications, entitled "Compositions for Bacterial-Mediated Gene Silencing and Methods Using the Same," relate to Cequent's so-called transkingdom RNAi technology, which involves using attenuated Escherichia coli to transcribe therapeutic shRNAs.

The company said the toxicology work, which is being conducted in non-human primates, will lay the groundwork for a phase II study to begin in 2011.

"We believe [the FAP drug] is a product that the combined company could commercialize with a small specialty sales force [with] minimal sales and marketing infrastructure," MDRNA's President and CEO Michael French said this week.

The company also remains on track with its more advanced familial adenomatous polyposis drug and plans to file within the next two weeks an investigational new drug application to begin testing the therapy in humans.

The New York City medical examiner is overseeing an effort to identify missing persons using DNA, according to the Associated Press.

Nobel laureate Günter Blobel has died at 81, the New York Times reports.

In PNAS this week: mouse model of genetically induced emphysema, gene expression signatures of circulating melanoma cells, and more.

Technology Review reports that 2017 was the year of consumer genetic testing and that it could spur new analysis companies.