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Rosetta Genomics, Marina Biotech Form microRNA Alliance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular diagnostics firm Rosetta Genomics and RNA drug developer Marina Biotech today announced that they have forged a microRNA diagnostics and drug discovery and development alliance, focusing on neuromuscular diseases and dystrophies.

Under the exclusive arrangement, Rosetta will identify miRNAs involved in the various disorders. If the miRNA is deemed correlative to the disease, Rosetta has the option to develop a diagnostic for patient identification and stratification based on the small, non-coding RNA. If the miRNA is found to be involved in the disease pathology, Marina has the right to use it as a therapeutic target.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

The collaboration is expected to initially focus on Becker and Duchenne muscular dystrophies, as well as myotonic dystrophy, the companies said.

"These rare diseases remain a significant unmet medical need," Rosetta President and CEO Kenneth Berlin said in a statement. "Targeted diagnostics to identify potential responders/non-responders for specific therapies would mark a significant advance for these patients as dystrophies are degenerative diseases that accelerate over time."

"Marina is in the unique position to capitalize on Rosetta's expertise by utilizing [its] microRNA-based diagnostics for patient identification and stratification in Marina's clinical development programs and by utilizing Marina's proprietary chemistries and delivery technologies to advance novel microRNA-based therapeutics … into the clinic," Marina President and CEO Michael French added in the statement.

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