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Marina Inks $1M Licensing Deal with Novartis for Oligo Technology

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Marina Biotech announced last week that it has non-exclusively licensed its conformationally restricted nucleotide technology to Novartis for $1 million in upfront fees.

CRNs are essentially nucleotide analogs to which the C2' and C4' carbon bonds of the ribose ring are linked, which promotes increased hybridization affinity, according to Marina.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Marina's CRN is quite versatile and can be used to create stable, highly active oligonucleotide therapeutics and, in particular, both single- and double-stranded oligos,” Marina President and CEO Michael French said in a statement. “We view this license as yet another important validation of our nucleic acid-based drug discovery."

The Novartis arrangement comes at a critical time for Marina, which announced in June that it had shut down the majority of its operations, including an ongoing phase I trial of its familial adenomatous polyposis drug CEQ508, amid financing problems (GSN 6/7/2012).

French last week declined to comment on whether the Novartis funding would allow the firm to re-start its activities.

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