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Arrowhead to Provide $10 Million Funding to Calando Pharmaceuticals

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Arrowhead Research Corporation has agreed to contribute up to $10 million in additional capital to its majority-owned subsidiary, Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The additional capital will allow Calando to accelerate preclinical testing of its RNAi therapeutics and to facilitate additional collaborations with large biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

"Calando has generated a great deal of excitement in both the scientific and investment communities over the last year," said R. Bruce Stewart, Arrowhead's Chairman.

"Calando's technology offers the potential of an enabling and powerful solution to the systemic delivery of RNAi -- an effective, targeting delivery system."

"In addition to providing financial resources, the partnership with Arrowhead enables us to concentrate our efforts on the development of RNAi therapeutics while not having to be burdened with many day to day administrative issues," said John Petrovich, Calando's CEO.

"Arrowhead provides complementary management, financial and strategic planning expertise, which will be invaluable to Calando's long term success."

Calando's proprietary platform for the delivery of siRNA therapeutics is based on linear cyclodextrin polymers. The polymers and siRNAs self-assemble into nanoparticles of approximately 50-100 nm diameter that protect the siRNAs from degradation in the bloodstream.

Targeting ligands steer the RNA-containing nanoparticles to targeted cells, and the nanoparticles are taken into the cells. Once inside the cells, chemistry built into the polymers functions to unpackage and release the siRNAs, enabling them to perform their gene-silencing function.