Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. announced that the Board of Directors has approved the recommendation of its Special Committee to move forward with the process of establishing Nastech's wholly-owned subsidiary, MDRNA, Inc. ("MDRNA"), as an independent company.
Nastech is transferring its intellectual property and agreements related to RNA interference (RNAi) into MDRNA. The new structure will give Nastech the ability to pursue independent investment to fund MDRNA's operations. Nastech plans to pursue such funding in the near-term, subject to market conditions, and expects to retain significant ownership in MDRNA following such financing.
In addition, Nastech intends, subject to change based on market conditions or future change in strategy, to thereafter issue a dividend to Nastech's shareholders of a portion of the MDRNA equity held by Nastech, and to effect the public trading of those securities through a Form 10 filing.
The planned change in corporate structure will enable Nastech to continue its focus on the development of peptide and protein drug delivery technologies while better positioning MDRNA for strategic alliances and direct investment as it develops RNAi therapeutics targeting a broad range of diseases.
"The establishment of MDRNA as an independent company will better serve our shareholders by providing a structure which will help us unlock the value of Nastech's RNAi assets as well as expedite the development of new therapeutics based on this new technology," stated Steven C. Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, President and CEO of Nastech.
"We have developed a proprietary platform for the creation and delivery of novel RNAi therapeutics with several candidate molecules in development. We look forward to recognizing the value of this innovative work,” Quay said.
The next steps with MDRNA are to complete a series of operating agreements with Nastech, obtain external financing to fund MDRNA's operations separate from Nastech, and to transfer employees from Nastech to MDRNA. It is anticipated that Nastech will provide administrative and facilities support to MDRNA for the near-term.