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March 14, 2006

MERCK/PHASE FORWARD
After a two-year evaluation, Merck picked Phase Forward as a supplier of electronic data capture (EDC) software. The deal is a major win for Phase Forward, which says Merck will initially use its technology in an application service provider mode but transition to companywide “enterprise” adoption during 2006.

CURBING A PANDEMIC
Novartis and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals have teamed to develop RNAi therapeutics for pandemic flu. The companies will advance to initial clinical testing and toward regulatory approval. RNAi therapeutics offer the potential for a new treatment approach, not a vaccine.

FOCUSED TRIALS
BioLineRx Ltd. and Optimata signed a collaboration agreement. The initial project, biosimulation of BioLineRx’s patented BL-1020 for the treatment of schizophrenia, will serve BioLineRx as a proof-of-concept for Optimata’s Virtual Patient technology and provide a basis for future collaborations.

COLLABORATION
Ciphergen and Sanofi-Aventis signed a collaborative research agreement to concentrate on discovery, validation, and identification of biomarkers for a preclinical drug efficacy study in the field of oncology.

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