Although therapeutic or diagnostic strategies pursued by biotech companies generally are proprietary, academic research still can affect a company's plans. In January, two academic papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences contradicted previously published results from MitoKor Inc., and the company now has retracted its results.

MitoKor (San Diego, Calif.) previously had identified what it believed were polymorphisms in two mitochondrial genes (CO1 and CO2, subunits of cytochrome c oxidase) associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). However the academic researchers found that the mutations