Roche Set to Buy RNAi Firm

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant will reportedly pay $450 million for a Danish biotech company that develops drugs that silence microRNAs.

By | August 6, 2014

WIKIMEDIA, US TREASURY DEPARTMENTOfficials at Roche, the Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company, announced Monday (August 4) that the firm will buy the Danish biotech firm Santaris Pharma for $450 million. Santaris made its mark in the RNA interference (RNAi) space with its proprietary locked nucleic acid (LNA) platform, which has churned out a few promising drugs that target mRNA and microRNA (miRNA). “Today there are many disease targets that are very challenging or even impossible to reach with small molecules or antibodies,” John Reed, head of Roche’s Research and Early Development, said in a statement. “We believe the LNA platform provides the means to efficiently discover and develop an important new class of medicines that may address the significant needs of patients across multiple therapeutic areas.”

According to Roche, the deal is expected to be finalized sometime this month, and Santaris will continue to operate out of its current location, just outside Copenhagen. The facilities there will be renamed the Roche Innovation Center Copenhagen.

The move makes another acquisition for Roche, which has actively sought out such deals in recent years. Last month, it purchased Seragon Pharmaceuticals for $1.725 billion. And in 2009, Roche acquired Genentech for a whopping $46.8 billion.

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Avatar of: James V. Kohl

James V. Kohl

Posts: 481

August 6, 2014

Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model

"...the epigenetic ‘tweaking’ of the immense gene networks that occurs via exposure to nutrient chemicals and pheromones can now be modeled in the context of the microRNA/messenger RNA balance, receptor-mediated intracellular signaling, and the stochastic gene expression required for nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution. The role of the microRNA/messenger RNA balance (Breen, Kemena, Vlasov, Notredame, & Kondrashov, 2012; Duvarci, Nader, & LeDoux, 2008; Griggs et al., 2013; Monahan & Lomvardas, 2012) in adaptive evolution will certainly be discussed in published works that will follow."


Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 9, 2014

RNA Splicing Shows Positive Results in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Models

Excerpt: “The investigational compounds used in this study represent the first orally available SMN2 splicing modifiers for SMA,” added Stuart W. Peltz, CEO of PTC Therapeutics. “Using the experience and expertise in RNA biology we have gained at PTC over the last 16 years, we used our alternative splicing technology to identify and subsequently optimize investigational compounds that target the SMN2 splicing to produce the SMN protein."


From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior

Excerpt: "Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans (Adler and Hajduk, 1994; de Bono, Zarkower, and Hodgkin, 1995; Ge, Zuo, and Manley, 1991; Green, 1991; Parkhurst and Meneely, 1994; Wilkins, 1995; Wolfner, 1988). That similar proteins perform functions in humans suggests the possibility that some human sex differences may arise from alternative splicings of otherwise identical genes."

Meanwhile, evolutionary theorists continue to tout their pseudoscientific nonsense about mutation-initiated natural selection and the evolution of biodiversity. They prevent some serious scientists from engaging in collaborative efforts with  others who are proceeding with medical advances. Progress is based on what has been learned about how the epigenetic landscape is linked to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man. For example, alternative splicings of pre-mRNA lead to nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all species via their nutrient-dependent morphological phenotypes and pheromone-controlled physiology of their reproduction that differentiates their behavioral phenotypes.


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