BOTHELL, WA--(Marketwire - April 19, 2012) - Marina Biotech, Inc. (OTCQX: MRNA), a leading nucleic acid-based drug discovery and development company, today announced that it has regained intellectual property rights to its transkingdom RNAi (tkRNAi) drug discovery platform for both agriculture and veterinary uses. The Company is currently developing a human therapeutic based on the tkRNAi technology and recently announced the completion of dosing for Cohort 2 in the Dose Escalation Phase of its START-FAP (Safety and Tolerability of An RNAi Therapeutic in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis) clinical trial. Cambridge Biolabs, formerly ViThera LLC, will maintain a license to tkRNAi for certain veterinary applications and, in turn, Marina Biotech continues to be eligible for milestone and royalty payments arising from those programs.
"We are pleased to see the progress Cambridge Biolabs has made with the application of our tkRNAi technology to the development of certain veterinary-based programs," stated J. Michael French, President and CEO at Marina Biotech. "With Cambridge Biolabs' success in transitioning to their new business model, it was an opportunity for Marina to capture the broader agriculture and veterinary uses for its strategic efforts. We continue to pursue business relationships that leverage our broad nucleic acid drug discovery platform in the agriculture and veterinary sectors to fund the advancement of nucleic acid-based human therapeutics."
The transkingdom RNA™ interference (tkRNAi) technology is a broad-reaching platform that can be used to develop highly specific drug products for a diverse set of diseases. The tkRNAi platform involves the modification of bacteria to deliver short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) to cells of the intestinal tract. A significant advantage of the tkRNAi platform is oral (by mouth) delivery making this platform extremely patient friendly while harnessing the full potential of the RNAi process.
About Marina Biotech, Inc.
Marina Biotech is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics utilizing multiple mechanisms of action including RNA interference (RNAi) and messenger RNA translational blocking. The Marina Biotech pipeline currently includes a clinical program in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (a precancerous syndrome) and two preclinical programs -- in bladder cancer and malignant ascites. Marina Biotech entered into an exclusive agreement with The Debiopharm Group for the development and commercialization of the bladder cancer program. In addition, Marina Biotech has entered into an agreement with both Mirna Therapeutics and ProNAi Therapeutics to license Marina Biotech's SMARTICLES® technology for the delivery of microRNA mimics and DNAi, respectively. Marina Biotech's goal is to improve human health through the development of RNAi- and oligonucleotide-based compounds and drug delivery technologies that together provide superior therapeutic options for patients. Additional information about Marina Biotech is available at http://www.marinabio.com.
About Cambridge Biolabs, LLC
Cambridge Biolabs, LLC (CBL) is a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA offering assay development and custom contract research services, mainly for startup companies in the biotechnology industry. CBL is also developing innovative therapeutic strategies for certain veterinary applications, including the use of transkingdom RNA™ interference (tkRNAi), exclusively licensed from Marina Biotechnology. Additional information is available at http://www.cambridgebiolabs.com
Statements made in this news release may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Federal Securities laws that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and involve factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) the ability of Marina Biotech to obtain additional funding; (ii) the ability of Marina Biotech to attract and/or maintain manufacturing, research, development and commercialization partners; (iii) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to successfully complete product research and development, including preclinical and clinical studies and commercialization; (iv) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to obtain required governmental approvals; and (v) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to develop and commercialize products prior to, and that can compete favorably with those of, competitors. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in Marina Biotech's most recent periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Marina Biotech assumes no obligation to update and supplement forward-looking statements because of subsequent events.