SMARTICLES(R) Nucleic Acid Delivery Technology Used in Phase I Clinical Study for Cancer
BOTHELL, WA, Sep 22, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Marina Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), a leading RNA-based drug discovery and development company, today announced that the first patient has received a novel cancer therapeutic candidate formulated in the Company's proprietary SMARTICLES(R) delivery technology. ProNAi Therapeutics Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company and licensee of the SMARTICLES technology, dosed their first patient in a Phase I clinical study of PNT2258 in patients with advanced solid tumors. PNT2258 is an oligonucleotide therapeutic encapsulated within a SMARTICLES formulation. The SMARTICLES delivery technology was developed by Novosom AG and acquired by Marina Biotech in July 2010. The SMARTICLES delivery technology is part of a broad and comprehensive patent estate surrounding amphoteric liposomal delivery now owned by Marina Biotech.
"The first dosing of this novel nucleic acid-based therapeutic is the culmination of tremendous effort on the part of both ProNAi and Novosom over the last several years," stated J. Michael French, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marina Biotech. "We are pleased to see a SMARTICLES formulation advance into human clinical testing. We hope to see significant advancement of our amphoteric liposomal delivery technology over the coming months with this first-in-human experience with ProNAi coupled with the further development of this technology in our RNAi-based drug discovery platforms."
The Phase 1 clinical trial is a single-center, open labeled dose escalation study of PNT2258 administered intravenously in cancer patient volunteers. The primary objective is to assess the safety and tolerability of PNT2258. The study will also examine the pharmacokinetics of PNT2258 and explore biomarkers with the goal of identifying doses for subsequent efficacy studies in cancer patients.
About Amphoteric Liposomes
Amphoteric liposomes define a novel class of liposomes, which are pH dependent charge-transitioning particles that provide for the delivery of a nucleic acid payload (e.g., siRNA, microRNA, antisense, decoy, etc.) to cells either by local or systemic administration. Amphoteric liposomes are designed to release their nucleic acid payload within the target cell where the nucleic acid can then engage a number of biological pathways, including the RNA interference pathway, and thereby exert a therapeutic effect. Currently, Marina Biotech amphoteric liposomal delivery technology includes non-DiLA2 based amphoteric liposomes (or SMARTICLES(R)) and DiLA2 based amphoteric liposomes.
About ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc.
ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. is a venture backed biopharmaceutical company founded in 2004 pioneering a new class of targeted drugs based on utilizing single strands of DNA oligonucleotides to target genomes responsible for complex, proliferative diseases such as cancer. The Company's lead drug candidate, PNT2258, has demonstrated safety and in vivo efficacy in a variety of preclinical tumor xenograft models. ProNAi is positioned to develop additional cancer therapies from its pre-clinical leads targeting other oncogenes including c-myc, k-ras, and her-2. The company has successfully raised over $15 million from Apjohn Ventures, Sigvion Capital, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on behalf of the State of Michigan, Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center (BRCC), Amherst Fund and private investors. Additional information about ProNAi Therapeutics is available at http://www.pronai.com.
About Marina Biotech, Inc.
Marina Biotech (formerly known as MDRNA, Inc.) is a biotechnology company, focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products based on RNA interference (RNAi). The Marina Biotech pipeline currently includes a clinical program in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (a precancerous syndrome) and two preclinical programs -- in hepatocellular carcinoma and bladder cancer. Marina Biotech's goal is to improve human health through the development of RNAi-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.
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 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 (under MDRNA Inc. ) 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.
Marina Biotech, Inc.
Chief Financial Officer
Westwicke Partners (Investors):
Stefan Loren, Ph.D.
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SOURCE: Marina Biotech, Inc.