Despite having lost one big biotech partner, Genaera Corp. has stood behind its IL-9 target for asthma. Now GENR has backing from a new big biotech partner, MedImmune Inc., which maintains that IL-9 is a valid asthma target that is involved in the pathogenesis of the disease.

When Genentech Inc. returned an anti-interleukin-9 antibody program for asthma to GENR last year, there were two logical explanations: it was a poor target or DNA was shifting priorities (see BioCentury, Jan. 2). Indeed, DNA subsequently discontinued development of rhDNase recombinant deoxyribonuclease using the AERx Pulmonary Drug Delivery System inhaler from Aradigm Corp. (ARDM, Hayward, Calif.) to treat cystic fibrosis, saying it had reprioritized its