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Marina Inks Partnership for Bladder Cancer Program

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Marina Biotech said this week that it has signed an exclusive deal to work with Swiss biopharmaceuticals group Debiopharm to develop and commercialize its preclinical bladder cancer program.

Under the terms of the deal, the companies will work together to advance the RNAi drug candidate, but Debiopharm will have “full responsibility for the development and commercialization of any products arising from the partnership.” Marina stands to receive up to $25 million based on “predefined research and development milestones,” as well as royalties on product sales, the firms said.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

Bladder cancer had been Marina's lead program, with the company anticipating a phase I study as early as 2012 (GSN 13/25/2010). However, when it acquired Cequent Pharmaceuticals last year, that company's investigational treatment for familial adenomatous polyposis, which is expected to enter the clinic this year, moved to the forefront (GSN 11/18/2010).

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