Genesis Confirms Focus on New Gene Silencing Technology with Significant Potential
Auckland, New Zealand, 30 April 2009 – Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd (NZSX/ASX: GEN) noted that the recent multi-million dollar licensing and collaboration deal between Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc to develop a novel gene silencing technology illustrates the high level of ongoing commercial interest in this area.
Genesis Chief Executive, Stephen Hall, said, “It is extremely interesting to see the collaboration between Isis and Alnylam, (two major developers of therapeutics with extensive Intellectual Property in antisense and siRNA), which is intended to achieve effective gene silencing using single-stranded oligonucleotides that act through the RNAi mechanism.
“The single stranded gene silencing technology being developed by Genesis also intends to utilise the advantages of the RNAi mechanism and to have more effective in vivo delivery than currently achieved by delivering double stranded siRNA.
“Genesis has filed patent applications protecting the technology and is in discussion with a number of international companies that have shown interest in co-developing the technology with Genesis and have made many favourable comments on the potential of the Genesis ssRNAi technology. Development of the technology is continuing to achieve milestones, using the combined resources of Genesis and other international groups.
“Genesis is now focusing all its resources on the single stranded gene silencing technology due to its significant commercial potential. Recent in vivo studies of the Zyrogen target using a fully human antibody did not show sufficient efficacy to be prioritised ahead of the gene silencing technology so the antibody programme is being discontinued.”
Genesis now holds 27 issued patents. The US Patent and Trademark Office has allowed claims for 10 of these, and the rest are from a number of other countries, including 6 from New Zealand. There are 11 applications pending in the U.S.A. and 8 pending in other countries.
Genesis also has royalty rights for various products that are being developed by other parties in the fields of agriculture, forage grass, forestry, etc. resulting from previous collaborations.
For further information see www.genesis.co.nz
Aki von Roy, Chairman- Genesis Research and Development Corporation Limited, +64 21 556 659