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Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (TSX:TKM) announced today a research collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) using Tekmira's SNALP technology to deliver small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to specific organs and tissues outside of the liver.
The relationship between Tekmira and Bristol-Myers Squibb builds upon earlier work conducted at Bristol-Myers Squibb using siRNA delivery technology provided by privately held Protiva Biotherapeutics Inc. In May, Protiva and Tekmira combined their businesses to create a leader in the field of RNAi (RNA interference) therapeutics.
Dr. Mark J. Murray, Tekmira's President and CEO, said, "Our relationship with Bristol-Myers Squibb is consistent with our strategy to work with global pharmaceutical leaders to expand the therapeutic potential of our leading RNAi delivery technology. At the same time, this work compliments our internal product development initiatives as we advance our own RNAi therapeutics to treat serious human diseases."
The initial collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Protiva focused on validating certain gene targets using small interfering RNAs provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb and employed a number of different stable nucleic-acid lipid particle (SNALP) formulations. SNALP is Tekmira's proprietary lipid nanoparticle technology for the delivery of RNAi drugs, including siRNAs.
About RNAi and SNALP
RNAi drugs have the potential to treat human diseases by "switching-off" disease causing genes. The technology, representing one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug discovery, was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. RNAi drugs, such as siRNA, require delivery technology to be administered systemically. In preclinical studies, Tekmira's SNALP (stable nucleic acid-lipid particles) technology has been shown to be a safe and effective way to deliver RNAi drugs to disease sites. Tekmira believes it has a leading intellectual property position in the field of siRNA delivery.
About Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing novel RNAi therapeutics and providing its leading lipid nanoparticle delivery technology to pharmaceutical partners. Further information about Tekmira can be found at www.tekmirapharm.com. Tekmira is based in Vancouver, B.C.
Forward-Looking Statements and Information
There are forward-looking statements and information contained herein that are not based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believes", "may", "plans", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipates", "intends", "expects", and similar expressions, and the negative of such expressions. These statements are only predictions.
Forward-looking statements and information should be considered carefully. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements and information as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements and information involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, which contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements and information will not occur and may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements and information.
There are also other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and information. Such factors include, among others, the stage of development of Tekmira, lack of product revenues, additional capital requirements, the need to obtain regulatory approval to commence clinical trials, risks associated with the completion of clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approval to market Tekmira's products, the safety and efficacy of Tekmira's products, the ability to protect Tekmira's intellectual property and dependence on collaborative partners.
A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Tekmira appears in Tekmira's management information circular dated May 1, 2008 available at www.sedar.com. Tekmira disclaims any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements or information contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.
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