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Marina Biotech Announces Allowance of Patent Covering DiLA2 Delivery Platform From U.S. Patent Office

Monday, January 03, 2011

Bothell, WA -- Marina Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a leading RNAi-based drug discovery and development company, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for patent application U.S. 12/114,284 covering its proprietary DiLA2 delivery platform. The allowed claims provide patent protection for a broad array of DiLA2 molecules as well as formulations based on these DiLA2 molecules, including liposomes, emulsions and micellar dispersions; and pharmaceutical compositions of DiLA2 molecules with therapeutic nucleic acids, including siRNA, microRNA, meroduplex siRNA (3-stranded siRNA), single-stranded RNA and short-hairpin RNA (shRNA); and finally, methods for treating human disease using the DiLA2 delivery platform.

"Our proprietary DiLA2 delivery technology provides a means for creating an extensive library of delivery formulations that may be tailored for delivery of RNAi-therapeutics to specific tissues," stated J. Michael French, President and CEO at Marina Biotech. "With our newest DiLA2-based formulations, we have recently achieved a 10-fold improvement in activity with an accompanying increase in the therapeutic window. We have applied the technology to the delivery of our proprietary UsiRNA constructs as both single agents and as a combination of two UsiRNAs, as well as the delivery of a microRNA mimetic. We are pleased that the USPTO recognizes the novelty and significance of our DiLA2 delivery platform. This allowance significantly enhances the company's IP position, reinforces Novartis' decision to non-exclusively license the technology and further establishes our competitive advantage with respect to RNAi-based delivery systems."

In summary, the allowed claims protect DiLA2 molecules, DiLA2-based formulations, methods for delivering biological agents (e.g., siRNA) with DiLA2 molecules/formulations and methods for treating human diseases with DiLA2-based formulations. Thus far, DiLA2-based formulations have demonstrated:

  • Physical and chemical stability for over a year in storage conditions ranging from -80°C to -40°C while maintaining in vivo activity
  • Effective delivery of the Company's Unlocked Nucleic Acid (UNA) modified small interfering RNA (UsiRNA) in cancer models involving both local (intravesical) and systemic (intravenous) delivery for bladder and liver cancer, respectively
  • Effective systemic delivery of a microRNA in a subcutaneous tumor cancer model
  • Increased efficacy as measured by a reduction in tumor volume in a bladder cancer model with two unique UsiRNAs combined within a single formulation

About Marina Biotech, Inc.

Marina Biotech is a biotechnology company, focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products based on RNA interference (RNAi). The Marina Biotech pipeline currently includes a clinical program in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (a precancerous syndrome) and two preclinical programs -- in hepatocellular carcinoma and bladder cancer. Marina Biotech's 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. Marina Biotech's global portfolio includes 67 issued or allowed patents; 55 U.S. patent applications; 142 foreign patent applications; and 8 PCT applications providing broad coverage for siRNAs, chemistry, delivery and gene targets. Additional information about Marina Biotech is available at

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 Marina Biotech to obtain additional funding; (ii) the ability of Marina Biotech to attract and/or maintain manufacturing, research, development and commercialization partners; (iii) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to successfully complete product research and development, including preclinical and clinical studies and commercialization; (iv) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to obtain required governmental approvals; and (v) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to develop and commercialize products that can compete favorably with those of competitors. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in Marina Biotech's most recent periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Marina Biotech assumes no obligation to update and supplement forward-looking statements because of subsequent events.

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