Marina Biotech Announces Plans to Use it’s RNA Based technology to Tackle Rare Diseases

In Press Release by Cameron

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Marina Biotech to Use Its RNAi, Antisense and microRNA Therapeutics Platform to Develop Drugs for Rare Diseases

March 11, 2014

Marina Biotech, Inc., a leading nucleic acid-based drug discovery and development company focused on rare diseases, announced today that it plans to broadly apply its RNAi, antisense and microRNA therapeutics platform to develop drugs for rare diseases. Besides advancing its current Phase 1 program in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, the company expects to initially focus on the area of dystrophies where it believes its broad capabilities including its conformationally restricted nucleotide (CRN) chemistry and SMARTICLES(R) delivery technology can provide an advantage over existing nucleic acid therapeutic approaches. J. Michael French, CEO of Marina Biotech will present an overview of the company’s plans today at BIO-Europe Spring(R) 2014 in Turin, Italy.

In addition, the Company announced today that it has closed its previously announced issuance of Series C Convertible Preferred Stock and common stock purchase warrants for aggregate gross proceeds to the Company of $6 million. The preferred stock is convertible into common stock at a conversion price equivalent to $0.75 per share of common stock. The six million warrants are exercisable at an exercise price of $0.75 per share, and are exercisable for a period of five years after the date on which the Company becomes current with respect to its reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act. Furthermore, as previously disclosed, on February 24, 2014 the holders of the promissory notes that were issued by the Company in February 2012 agreed to exchange such notes for 1,959,389 shares of common stock, and to release their lien on the intellectual property and other assets of the Company.

“We are now in a strong position for Marina Biotech to evolve into a rare disease drug development company,” stated J. Michael French. “We have the capability to pursue multiple nucleic acid therapeutics that use a variety of mechanisms of action including RNAi, mRNA translational inhibition, exon-skipping, steric blocking, microRNA inhibition and microRNA replacement. Our broad therapeutic discovery platform will allow us to apply the most appropriate technology to a specific target (or targets) within a disease pathophysiology. Not only can we apply multiple approaches to the same target within a disease pathway, but we can also pursue therapeutics across different systems, i.e. muscle, heart and CNS, involved in multi-system diseases such as myotonic dystrophy. We will continue to seek large pharmaceutical company research and development collaborations outside our clinical focus in an effort to provide non-dilutive capital and the continued advancement of our core chemistry and delivery capabilities. I’m excited to begin this new phase in the growth of Marina Biotech and look forward to our successes in the coming year.”

See the press release here.