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Jun 15, 2009

Cenix and AstraZeneca Expand RNAi Alliance into Respiratory and Inflammatory Diseases

  • Cenix Bioscience signed a multiproject research agreement with AstraZeneca in the areas of respiratory and inflammation-related diseases. The deal essentially expands the companies’ ongoing relationship in the field of oncology.

    Cenix specializes in combining advanced RNAi applications for gene silencing with high-content phenotyping in cultured cells in vitro and in animals in vivo. The new agreement, will involve Cenix completing at least three major projects using its RNAi-based research platforms. Research carried out by the company will integrate multipass, genome-scale screens for drug discovery, with detailed validation analyses using a number of primary human cell types.

    Cenix will also adapt assays originally developed at AstraZeneca, which combine automated microscopy and Cellenger-based image analysis, for optimization with high-throughput RNAi studies in 384- or 1,536-well formats. “We particularly welcome the approach chosen by AstraZeneca here of tightly integrating the discovery screens with subsequent validation studies, a strategy that we have been strongly advocating for some years,” comments Christophe Echeverri, Ph.D., Cenix’ CEO/CSO. 

    Related News

    AstraZeneca Taps Jubilant for Discovery Work (May 5, 2009)
    Cenix to Conduct RNAi-Based Target Discovery for Boehringer Ingelheim (Feb. 2, 2009)
    Palatin and AstraZeneca Expand Partnership in Obesity Drug R&D (Dec. 9, 2008)
    Silence Therapeutics and AstraZeneca Partner to Advance siRNA Drug Delivery Techniques (Mar. 13, 2008)
    Silence Therapeutics Could Earn $400M in siRNA Partnership with AstraZeneca (July 6, 2007)

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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