Good coverage of RNAi in Chemical & Engineering News article for September 6, 2004, Volume 82, Number 36, pp. 18-23. Title of article is �SILENCE COULD BE GOLDEN---Gene silencing with RNAi might offer novel therapeutics and help with nondruggable targets� written by Vivien Marx.
Unfortunatelythe article is not accessible except in library, as requires a subscription. C&EN is carried in most academic libraries.
I agree that siRNA (symbol RNAI) should be viewed as a competitor. Yahoo does not have a complete list of competitors yet.
Much of the early benefit of RNAi will be its ability to screen genes as potential drug targets rapidly.
The C&EN article is a good one, including comments such as:
>>One day last summer, Alnylam got an important phone call: Merck was on the line. "They have targets they very much believe in but cannot move forward with conventional mechanisms," Greene says. A deal was struck. Upon signature, $7 million was paid and another $7 million promised if milestones are reached. Under the terms of the deal, Merck offers targets, and Alnylam will advance them to the toxicology study stage while retaining the right to 50% of potential U.S. revenues down the road.
A second Merck partnership was launched in June to jointly develop RNAi therapeutics for ocular diseases where VEGF, or vascular endothelial growth factor, plays an important role. "Merck has a significant ocular franchise, and we had been going after VEGF," Greene says. Interfering with signaling in this pathway and thus inhibiting blood vessel growth and leakage has been shown to help in a type of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can lead to blindness. In AMD, the retina suffers as its nourishing arteries harden. In so-called wet AMD, the retina deteriorates because leaky new blood vessels form in an attempt to nourish the retina.<<