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Jan 7, 2008

Oxford Biomedica Gains RNAi Patent Rights for Therapeutic Applications

  • Oxford BioMedica licensed certain RNAi patents from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW). The company plans to pursue novel applications of RNAi using its lentiviral vector delivery technology.

    The company obtained nonexclusive rights as well as certain exclusive rights for human gene therapy applications of RNAi using lentiviral vectors. In exchange, Oxford BioMedica will make an upfront payment as well as annual maintenance and milestone fees and royalties.

    “As the medical school looks toward the convergence of RNAi, gene therapy, and cellular therapy, including stem cells as medical treatments, the potential drug development opportunities presented by Oxford’s lentiviral vector delivery technology is intriguing to us,” comments James P. McNamara, Ph.D., executive director of the office of technology management of the UMMS. “We have structured these license agreements to help the company pursue novel applications of RNA interference based on their established broad IP in the lentiviral vector delivery space.”



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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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