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Marina Presents Data on miRNA Mimics, Antagonists

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Marina Biotech has presented data showing that its proprietary delivery and oligo-modification technologies could be used to develop efficient microRNA mimics and antagonists.

According to the firm, which presented the data at the RNAi Research and Therapeutics Conference last week in San Francisco, a mimic of miR-34, when formulated in its Smarticles liposomal delivery technology, was capable of inhibiting tumor growth in an orthotopic liver tumor model as indicated by a decrease in systemic liver tumor biomarker, alpha-feto protein, and a decrease in tumor weight of greater than 80 percent.

The company also said that incorporation of its conformationally restricted nucleotide technology, which essentially comprises nucleotide analogs to which the C2' and C4' carbon bonds of the ribose ring are linked, boosted the potency of miRNA inhibitors, with a roughly 60-fold improvement in the IC50.

Marina has been eyeing the miRNA space for some time, with President and CEO Michael French highlighting the CRN technology as a key part of the company's effort to provide a range of technologies beyond RNAi at an investor conference in February (GSN 2/17/2011).

A few months later, the company presented data showing that single-stranded oligos modified with the CRN technology could block expression of a miRNA in vitro at levels similar to Santaris Pharma's locked nucleic acids (GSN 5/26/2011).

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