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Archemix Inks Deals with Dicerna, Miragen to Apply Aptamer Tech to Drug Candidates

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Archemix this week announced that it had signed separate deals with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and Miragen Therapeutics under which it will contribute its aptamer technology to the development of Dicer-substrate- and microRNA-based therapeutics, respectively.

Through the collaborations, both Dicerna and Miragen hope to use Archemix's technology to improve the targeting and delivery features of their drugs.

The first arrangement calls for Archemix and Dicerna to each make "an investment of resources" to develop the aptamer/Dicer-substrate drug candidates and share research and development responsibilities.

Dicerna will have the option to obtain the exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize the agents. Additional terms were not disclosed.

"This collaboration points to the unique adaptability of Dicerna’s dsiRNA molecules to a number of targeting and delivery approaches, including aptamers, to facilitate tissue- and cell-specific delivery," Dicerna CEO Jim Jenson said in a statement.

Under the second agreement, Miragen and Archemix "will jointly pursue research and development efforts [for miRNA-based therapeutics] and both companies will contribute resources under the agreement," the companies said.

As with the Dicerna deal, Miragen has the option to negotiate for the exclusive rights to further develop and market aptamer-miRNA drugs developed through the partnership. Additional terms were not provided.

"Targeting and delivery of nucleic acid drugs are challenges in the field, and aptamers are an exciting class of agents that can potentially address these issues,” Miragen President and CEO Bill Marshall said in a statement.

"Intracellular delivery has been a key challenge for RNA modalities and we are excited about the potential of [using] our expertise in aptamers … to overcome this limitation and open further potential for RNA-based therapeutics," Archemix President and CEO Kenneth Bate added.

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