Marina Biotech, Inc. (OTC Pink: MRNA), a leading oligonucleotide-based drug discovery and development company, and Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. (Mirna), a privately-held biotechnology company pioneering microRNA (miRNA) replacement therapy for cancer, announced today that they have amended their 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. Under terms of the amendment, Mirna paid certain pre-payments to Marina Biotech and now has additional rights to its lead program, MRX34, currently in Phase 1 clinical development for patients with unresectable primary liver cancer or metastatic cancer with liver involvement. In addition, under the terms of the license agreement, Mirna has optioned exclusivity on several additional miRNA targets. Further terms of the Agreement were not disclosed.
"Mirna and Marina Biotech have enjoyed a successful, durable collaboration by leveraging the systemic delivery of our proprietary, double-stranded, miRNA mimics with the SMARTICLES delivery technology," said Paul Lammers, President and CEO of Mirna Therapeutics. "Amendment of the license agreement strengthens the potential medical and commercial value of MRX34 as the first miRNA mimic to enter the clinic in cancer, and provides exclusivity for the use of SMARTICLES with other highly promising tumor suppressor miRNAs."
"We are extremely pleased with our on-going relationship with Mirna as a forerunner in the human clinical development of microRNA-based therapeutics," stated J. Michael French, President and CEO of Marina Biotech. "We are also pleased about our ability to successfully close licensing transactions during the past year and a half, which has allowed us to keep the company moving forward during a difficult stretch. Although this transaction will not allow us to resume normal operations, I believe it will be sufficient to achieve certain tactical and strategic objectives over the next quarter. We have witnessed over the past several months increasing interest across the broader pharmaceutical sector in the application of our drug discovery engine to the development of nucleic acid-based therapeutics for rare and orphan diseases. We are excited about this increased awareness of our capabilities and hope to capitalize on these developments in the future."