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Friday, November 19, 2010

RNAi and Roche

The RNAi world took a big hit this week. Had they listened to the lowly CCS they could have saved over 800 million dollars! Why am I not a high paid adviser in this industry.

I know of a couple people who swear that gene therapy works. I know of no one who says that RNAi works. Keep in mind, the people I know wear white lab coats at work and speak of results that they have seen first hand. The people I mostly poke fun at wear Friday business casual and work in offices. They conduct science in board rooms with white boards and powerpoint presentations as their only tool. They need a certain story to be told and they direct people to go and get certain results.

We still have a couple RNAi fires lighting our runway up here in the Northwest. Marina, formerly MDRNA, has been raising money in dribs and drabs for the past several years. Why did they take the RNA out of their name? Next is AVI Biopharma who work with RNA anti-sense, which is different than RNAi, but equally is certain to fail. Why get nit-picky with BS?

The problem I've always had with RNAi is that it is too easy. A PHd need only select a drug target then pretend that it has been knocked out. Hitherto you had to create a knock-out mouse which is hard to do and expensive. This bailed out a whole generation of lazy scientists. It reinvented old gene therapy farts who were at end of their wasted careers. It said to the world, we have a new tool box for fighting disease. You open that tool box and their is one hammer in there that they whack every problem with. Where are we now?

Finally, a major player has closed its books on this foolish pursuit. Others will have to come to the same conclusion, but this is still biotech. They will fight for their professional lives until the money dries up. But remember, you can trust the CCS. The RNAi cargo planes will never come.

1 comment:

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