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MDRNA Amends Deal for UNA Tech to Eliminate Payments to Licensor, Regains Nasdaq Compliance


This article has been updated from a version posted June 22 to include an update on the company's Nasdaq listing status.

MDRNA announced last week that it has acquired from RiboTask the full financial and transactional rights to its unlocked nucleobase analog technology for the development of RNA therapeutics.

Separately this week, the company announced that it has regained full compliance with the listing requirements of the Nasdaq Global Market, specifically the $1 minimum per share losing bid price and $50 million minimum market value for listed securities.

MDRNA said that its deal for the UNA technology, which was announced late last year (see RNAi News, 10/23/2008), included "certain financial obligations" to RiboTask in the event of a license, development, or sale of the UNA-based siRNAs as human therapeutics.

Under the new terms of the arrangement, all future financial obligations to RiboTask have been eliminated, MDRNA said. RiboTask retains the rights to make, sell, and sublicense the UNA technology for research and diagnostic purposes.

Additional terms of the amended deal were not disclosed.

The UNA technology is comprised of an acyclic ribonucleoside analog in which the bond between C2' and C3' atoms is broken. The resultant change in sugar structure is designed to make the analog flexible and reduce the binding affinity of an siRNA's strands.

According to MDRNA, UNA-based siRNAs are protected from enzymatic destruction, reduction, or elimination, and avoid cytokine responses, but remain highly effective.