UK investment group Imperial innovations has bagged a £30-million, 12-year loan from the European Investment Bank to plug into the country’s biotech and therapeutics sectors. The firm, which invests its cash in businesses built on intellectual property developed at or linked with Imperial College London, the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and University College London, said it will receive the loan in two tranches of £15 million, the first of which will be drawn shortly. The cash stream will add significant ballast to the group’s existing fund pot, which stood at more than £60 million earlier this year, and therefore allow it to upscale investment in both new technologies and existing portfolio companies, it noted.
Source: Pharma Times
Ahead of its plans to relocate part of its R&D operations to Cambridge, AstraZeneca has signed up to three cancer projects in the UK city. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has entered into an agreement with the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK for a two-year collaboration on three pre-clinical and clinical oncology projects. They will focus on the study of tumour mutations and new investigational therapies in prostate, pancreatic and potentially other cancers. The projects include evaluating a new technology that will allow clinicians to monitor the activity of a tumour through blood tests and without the need for biopsies. Another programme will test the investigational treatment olaparib in combination with AZD2014 in high-risk prostate cancer patients.
Source: Pharma Times
Silencing genes that have malfunctioned is an important approach for treating diseases such as cancer and heart disease. One effective approach is to deliver drugs made from small molecules of ribonucleic acid, or RNA, which are used to inhibit gene expression. The drugs, in essence, mimic a natural process called RNA interference. In a new paper appearing today online in the journal, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have developed nanoparticles that appear to solve a big challenge in delivering the RNA molecules, called small interfering RNA, or siRNA, to the cells where they are needed. By synthesizing a nanoparticle that releases its siRNA cargo only after it enters targeted cells, Dr. Tariq M. Rana and colleagues showed in mice that they could deliver drugs that silenced the genes they wanted.
Source: World Pharma News