Targeted Genetics has acquired full rights to its preclinical research program on Huntington's disease from partner Sirna Therapeutics. The Seattle biotech company will...

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Targeted Genetics has acquired full rights to its preclinical research program on Huntington’s disease from partner Sirna Therapeutics.

The Seattle biotech company will pay Sirna, a unit of Merck, an undisclosed royalty on future sales.

The collaboration between the two companies, which began in 2005, sought to treat the disease by combining RNA interference (a mechanism that allows shutting down gene expression) with Targeted Genetics’ expertise in gene therapy.

Much of the research could be financed by grants, said Targeted Genetics CEO H. Stewart Parker.

Champion Air

Another airline to end service

Champion Air will stop flying May 31, citing the cost of fuel and the loss of charter contracts to fly 13 National Basketball Association teams as well as MLT Vacations to its former owner, Northwest Airlines.

The 500-employee, Bloomington, Minn., airline is the fourth airline in less than two weeks to announce it will go out of business.

Also shutting are Skybus Airlines, a low-fare carrier that started operations less than a year ago; Aloha Airgroup, a closely held Hawaiian airline; and Midwest carrier ATA Airlines. The latter three filed for bankruptcy.

Champion Air was formed as MGM Grand Air in 1987 by MGM Mirage, which sold it eight years later to a Minnesota tour operator. Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad and Northwest bought it in 1997.

Northwest and Pohlad sold the airline to Champion management in 2003.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff and Bloomberg News