¿ GenOdyssee SA, of Paris, has discovered 32 significant mutations in genes coding for cytokines since it was founded in mid-2000, it said. Some concern therapeutic cytokines already on the market or in clinical trials. Using its proprietary functional genomics technology and the GenOdyBase Cytokines database it is developing, GenOdyssee seeks to discover diagnostic and therapeutic targets in patients suffering from diseases related to the activity of these cytokines, such as anemia, cancer and infectious diseases. It also plans to make the database available to pharmaceutical companies for the purpose of carrying out pharmacogenomics studies.

¿ Genset SA, of Paris, made a consolidated net loss of EUR34.4 million (US$32.3 million) in 2000, against EUR22.1 million in 1999. In the fourth quarter in particular, its loss doubled to EUR10.9 million (US$10.2 million) from EUR5.6 million in the 1999 period. Revenues for the year rose to EUR29.8 million (US$28 million) from EUR27.7 million in 1999, with a 50 percent increase in sales of oligonucleotides more than offsetting an 11 percent drop in research and development income (to EUR17.3 million from EUR19.4 million). As of Dec. 31, Genset had cash and liquid reserves of EUR67.8 million. The company confirmed that it is actively seeking to sell its oligonucelotides division as part of the corporate strategy shift it announced in mid-February. (See BioWorld International, Feb. 14, 2001.)

¿ Neuromuscular Research Institute at St Vincent's Hospital researchers said they made a breakthrough in efforts to treat the genetic defect that causes muscular dystrophy. By inserting normal mouse DNA into muscular dystrophy-affected mouse cells they found that they could correct the genetic defect in the mouse cells. The researchers in Melbourne, Australia, said that once the technique is refined it holds "great promise" for treating the disease in people.