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Highlights Its Broad and Comprehensive RNAi Intellectual Property Estate at Bright Lights Conference 2010
MDRNA, Inc. (MRNA 1.23, +0.04, +3.36%), a leading RNAi-based drug discovery and development company, today reported that MDRNA was chosen as a "Best and Brightest" technology leader by the MDB Capital Group based on the novelty, quality and industry impact of its innovative patent estate. The Company has a broad intellectual property estate of 17 issued or allowed patents, 41 pending U.S. patent applications, 6 pending PCT patent applications and 134 pending foreign patent applications that cover its RNAi technology. The MDRNA RNAi patent estate includes four key technologies needed to develop RNAi-based therapeutics: 1) siRNA constructs, 2) chemistry, 3) nucleic acid delivery and 4) gene targets. Selected from more than 1,600 technology companies, MDRNA was one of only fifty companies invited to showcase its IP story at the Bright Lights Conference in San Francisco, CA. J. Michael French, Chief Executive Officer and President of MDRNA, Inc., presented highlights of MDRNA's broad and comprehensive RNAi intellectual property estate at the Bright Lights Conference.
"The Bright Lights Conference was an excellent forum to tell the MDRNA IP story," stated J. Michael French, CEO and President of MDRNA. "We believe that we have one of the leading RNAi intellectual property estates in the world with the necessary patent portfolio required to protect all the key technology needs of a stand-alone RNAi-based therapeutics company. We expect our comprehensive intellectual property estate to protect not only our own clinical pipeline but also that of our potential pharmaceutical collaborators. We look forward to continued issuances of our pending applications and growth of our industry leading patent estate."
The MDRNA-owned siRNA construct patent portfolio consists of 4 pending U.S. patent applications, 1 pending PCT patent application and 20 pending foreign patent applications. The MDRNA siRNA constructs include its proprietary UsiRNA and meroduplex siRNA constructs. The UsiRNA construct incorporates unlocked nucleobase analogs (UNA) in the double-stranded oligonucleotide construct. The UNA technology was acquired by MDRNA from RiboTask ApS, a Denmark-based company founded by Prof. Jesper Wengel and Suzy Lena. UsiRNAs demonstrate enhanced specificity and efficacy in comparison to standard siRNAs. The meroduplex siRNA, developed by the MDRNA research team, is a three-stranded construct with two double-stranded regions formed by having a nick or gap in the passenger strand. The meroduplex siRNA provides improved off-target effects compared to standard siRNAs due to the inability of the passenger strand to enter the RISC complex and act as a guide strand.
The MDRNA-owned RNAi chemistry IP estate has 8 issued patents, and includes conformationally restricted nucleoside (CRN) analogs. The CRN patent estate was recently acquired from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX 48.93, +0.36, +0.74%) . The CRN patent estate strengthens MDRNA's proprietary meroduplex constructs, and is directly applicable to alternative oligonucleotide constructs including single strand molecules (e.g. antagomirs) and constructs which function outside of an RNAi mechanism.
The MDRNA delivery platforms include 6 issued or allowed patents, 15 pending U.S. patent applications, 3 pending PCT patent applications and 67 pending foreign patent applications that cover DiLA2 and nanoparticle forming peptides. DiLA2 is an MDRNA proprietary delivery platform developed by the MDRNA research team for both systemic and local delivery. It is a novel synthetic di-alkylated amino acid compound used to make liposomal delivery formulations. The DiLA2 platform enables MDRNA to tailor the charge, linker and acyl chains of amino acids in order to configure liposomes for delivery to target tissues of interest. In addition, the platform is designed to permit attachment of various peptides and other targeting molecules to improve a variety of delivery characteristics. The MDRNA peptide nanoparticle platform includes exclusively in-licensed patents and developed IP surrounding the use of peptides for nanoparticle formulations that increase cellular uptake and endosomal release of siRNAs. MDRNA is currently biopanning its patented phage display library to identify additional peptides for targeted delivery, cellular uptake and endosomal release of siRNA. Currently, MDRNA's patent phage display library has resulted two different patented cell targeting peptides, one to lung and the other to hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
The MDRNA gene target portfolio consists of 3 issued patents, 21 pending U.S. patent applications, 3 pending PCT patent applications and 47 pending foreign patent applications. The MDRNA gene target patent portfolio contains over 140 disease validated genes with a focus on oncology.
In addition to its RNAi IP assets, MDRNA is currently seeking to monetize its legacy nasal drug delivery business, which consists of 10 issued or allowed patents, 6 pending U.S. patent applications and 20 pending foreign patent applications, through licensing, partnering or acquisition of its Phase II intranasal programs, including its ultra rapid acting insulin for diabetes, carbetocin for autism and parathyroid hormone (PTH1-34) for osteoporosis.
"We were pleased to be selected as a 'Best and Brightest' technology leader based on our IP estate," stated Mark Bales, Ph.D., Intellectual Property Counsel of MDRNA. "In the past six months, MDRNA has added 12 issued patents to its IP portfolio that cover cell targeting delivery peptides, gene specific siRNAs, and nucleotide analogues. In the coming year, we expect to continue to expand our comprehensive patent estate as the MDRNA team develops novel innovative RNAi-technologies."
MDRNA Forward-Looking Statements
Statements made in this news release may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Federal Securities laws that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and involve factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) the ability of MDRNA to obtain additional funding; (ii) the ability of MDRNA to attract and/or maintain manufacturing, research, development and commercialization partners; (iii) the ability of MDRNA and/or a partner to successfully complete product research and development, including preclinical and clinical studies and commercialization; (iv) the ability of MDRNA and/or a partner to obtain required governmental approvals; (v) the ability of MDRNA and/or a partner to develop and commercialize products that can compete favorably with those of competitors; and (vi) the failure of the stockholders of MDRNA to approve the merger with Cequent, the failure of either party to meet any of the other conditions to closing the merger, contractual restrictions on the conduct of our business included in the merger agreement, and any impact on our relationships with third parties as a result of the announcement of the proposed merger. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in MDRNA's most recent periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. MDRNA assumes no obligation to update and supplement forward-looking statements because of subsequent events.
MDRNA is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products based on RNA interference (RNAi). Our goal is to improve human health through the development of RNAi-based compounds and drug delivery technologies that together provide superior therapeutic options for patients. Over the past decade, we have developed substantial capabilities in molecular biology, cellular biology, lipid chemistry, peptide chemistry, pharmacology and bioinformatics, which we are applying to a wide range of RNAi technologies and delivery approaches. These capabilities plus the in-licensing of key RNAi-related intellectual property have rapidly enabled us to become a leading RNAi-based therapeutics company with a pre-clinical pipeline in oncology. Through our capabilities, expertise and know-how, we are incorporating multiple RNAi technologies as well as peptide- and lipid-based delivery approaches into a single integrated drug discovery platform that will be the engine for our clinical pipeline as well as a versatile platform for establishing broad therapeutic partnerships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. We are also investing in new technologies that we expect to lead to safer and more effective RNAi-based therapeutics while aggressively building upon our broad and extensive intellectual property estate. By combining broad expertise in siRNA science with proven delivery platforms and a strong IP position, MDRNA is well positioned as a leading RNAi-based drug discovery and development company.
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Mark Bales, Ph.D.
Westwicke Partners (Investors):
Stefan Loren, Ph.D.
(312) 944-6784 x 316 or
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