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Marina Biotech and Mirna Announce License Agreement for the Development of microRNA-Based Therapeutics


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Marina Biotech, Inc. and Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. (Mirna) have announced that they have entered into a license agreement regarding the development and commercialization of microRNA-based therapeutics utilizing Mirna's proprietary microRNAs and Marina Biotech's novel SMARTICLES liposomal delivery technology.

Mirna will have full responsibility for the development and commercialization of any products arising under the Agreement and Marina Biotech will support pre-clinical and process development efforts.

Under terms of the Agreement, Marina Biotech could receive up to $63 million in total upfront, clinical and commercialization milestone payments, as well as royalties on sales, based on the successful outcome of the collaboration. Further terms of the Agreement were not disclosed.

"Given the challenge of effectively delivering oligonucleotides to target tissues, we devoted considerable effort to identifying an optimal delivery technology that would allow for systemic administration of our potent miRNA tumor suppressors and which is already in clinical testing," said Paul Lammers, M.D., M.Sc., President and CEO of Mirna Therapeutics.

Lammers continued, "With the dramatic in vivo results achieved with our miRNA mimics, we believe the SMARTICLES technology solves the delivery challenge for us, and we are now looking forward to bringing our miRNA mimics into the clinic in the next 18 months as promising targeted cancer therapeutics."

"We are extremely pleased to have entered into this relationship with a company as well respected in the area of microRNA-based therapeutics as Mirna Therapeutics," stated J. Michael French, President and CEO of Marina Biotech.

French continued, "We are excited to see the continued advancement of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics and to be able to provide a technology capable of effectively delivering, in this case, systemically administered miRNA mimetics. We look forward to the rapid advancement of Mirna Therapeutics' clinical pipeline and the opportunity to bring novel therapeutics to patients in need."

In a recent poster entitled "The Development of a miRNA-based Therapeutic Candidate for Hepatocellular Carcinoma," presented at the November, 2011 AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in San Francisco, CA, Mirna scientists showed that mimics of five tumor suppressor miRNAs, including miR-34 and let-7, all significantly inhibited the growth of liver tumors compared to animals treated with formulated negative control miRNAs.

The five miRNA mimics were complexed with Marina Biotech's SMARTICLES delivery formulation and injected into NOD/SCID mice with orthotopically grown Hep3B human liver cancer xenografts.

The companies will present their respective science and technologies at the upcoming Biotech Showcase™ 2012, January 9-11, 2012 at the Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco - Union Square at 55 Cyril Magnin Street, San Francisco, CA.

Mirna Therapeutics will present on Monday, 9 January at 3:00 pm and Marina Biotech will present on Tuesday, 10 January at 2:30 pm.

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