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GEN News Highlights : Sep 26, 2006

Nastech Receives $1.9 M for Flu Prevention and Treatment

NIH grant will be use for development of RNAi Therapeutics.
Nastech Pharmaceutical reported that the NIAID awarded the company a $1.9 million Research Project (R01) grant to further develop the company’s siRNA therapeutics to prevent and treat influenza. This award combined with an earlier SBIR Phase 1 grant brings total program funding to approximately $2.3 million from the NIH.

The goals of the grant-funded research include the design and optimization of siRNAs against seasonal and avian influenza viruses, testing in vivo activity of new siRNA delivery agents, and evaluating viral drug-resistance mechanisms.

Nastech is developing siRNA therapeutics that specifically target conserved regions of the influenza viral genome. The company believes that targeting the these regions could enable an siRNA therapeutic to be effective against both current and future strains of the influenza virus.