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CytRx RNAi Subsidiary Announces RNAi Licensing Agreement with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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CytRx Corporation has announced that its majority-owned subsidiary, RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXi), has secured a non-exclusive, worldwide research and therapeutic license from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to their short hairpin RNAi technology (shRNAi).

According to CytRx, the licensed technology potentially allows for the triggering of RNA interference (RNAi) and includes the use of short hairpin RNAis (shRNAis) either delivered as RNA compositions or encoded by DNA constructs. Patents covering this technology are currently pending. Financial terms were not disclosed for competitive reasons.

“With this license for all human therapeutic areas, we gain the well-validated advantage of shRNAi – which is reported to be up to 10- to 100-fold more potent compared with standard siRNA,” said Tod Woolf, Ph.D., RXi's President and CEO.

“This license supports our activities to accumulate a broad technology portfolio of RNA chemistry, and configuration and delivery technology, and marks another step in our construction of a world-class RNAi therapeutics company,” Woolf continued.

The technology licensed by RXi was developed in the laboratory of Gregory J. Hannon, Ph.D., a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Hannon, who is a co-founder and member of RXi’s scientific advisory board, is also a leading expert on oncogene pathways and was formerly an advisor to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.