BOTHELL, Wash., Dec. 18 Nastech PharmaceuticalCompany Inc. ("Nastech") (Nasdaq: NSTK) announced today that it has assigned(i) certain Nastech licenses to third-party intellectual property and (ii)Nastech's own intellectual property, as such intellectual property relates tothe development of RNA-based therapeutics, to its subsidiary, MDRNA, Inc.("MDRNA").
"The transfer of intellectual property rights for RNA-based therapeuticsfrom Nastech to MDRNA is an important step in the process of creating MDRNA asan independent company. We believe MDRNA independence will ultimately enhanceNastech shareholder value," stated Steven C. Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman,President and CEO of Nastech. "The MDRNA intellectual property estate includesrights to patents and patent applications covering technologies for thedevelopment and delivery of RNA-based therapeutics as well as their use intreating diseases. We believe that this agreement provides a strong foundationfor MDRNA and will be important in attracting external funding for MDRNA."
About Nastech's Intellectual Property (IP)
The intellectual property estate includes rights to issued and pendingpatent applications relating to RNA-based therapeutics which have broad claimson their development, delivery and use in treating diseases.
Nastech's own IP related to RNA-based therapeutics and diagnostics includethe following published patent applications:
Nastech is also a licensee on a non-exclusive basis to Fire and Mello(U.S. Patent No. 6,506,559) patents and patent applications describing thefundamental use of double-stranded RNA to induce RNA interference.
Nastech is the exclusive licensee in the field of influenza virus andrespiratory disease for many patent applications owned by MassachusettsInstitute of Technology, including the following published applications:
Additionally, Nastech has exclusive and non-exclusive rights under alicense in the field of dicer substrates for patent applications owned by Cityof Hope.
About Nastech's RNA-Based Therapeutics Programs
Nastech has several product candidates currently in preclinicaldevelopment including programs targeting influenza and rheumatoid arthritis.Nastech has engaged in collaborations with commercial, academic andgovernmental organizations including an ongoing Cooperative Research andDevelopment Agreement (CRADA) with the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention focused on evaluating RNAi therapeutics for treatment of influenza.
About RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNA interference, or RNAi, is a cellular mechanism that can be used toturn off the production of a protein by using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs).siRNAs are double-stranded RNA molecules that are able to silence a gene in asequence-specific manner by degradation of the target messenger RNA. In thecase of an siRNA directed against influenza, the target is one or more genesthat encode proteins critical for viral replication. If siRNAs are successfulat turning off the production of such proteins, the spread of infection wouldbe prevented or slowed. Nastech's RNAi research and development programs seekto develop safe and effective therapeutics by identifying key protein targets,designing the siRNA that will turn off the production of the targetedproteins, and developing a formulation for the delivery of this potential newclass of therapeutics.
Nastech is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative productsbased on proprietary molecular biology-based drug delivery technologies.Nastech and our collaboration partners are developing products for multipletherapeutic areas including osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, autism,respiratory diseases and inflammatory conditions. Additional information aboutNastech is available at http://www.nastech.com.
About MDRNA, Inc.
MDRNA, a company develo