Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. (Nasdaq: NSTK) announced today that it has completed filing 83 patent applications (79 international applications and 4 U.S. applications) directed toward 144 different genes with siRNA’s designed and modified using Nastech’s proprietary RNAi technologies. These gene targets are disease-validated against cancer, inflammatory disease, and metabolic disorders. Overall, these patent applications are directed toward tens of thousands of targets.
The inventions involve the use of Dicer substrates (25-30 nucleotide two-stranded duplexes), Meroduplex substrates (three stranded constructs with an antisense strand of 15-30 nucleotides and two sense strands), and non-chemically modified base substitutions with specific, experimentally determined sequences within the 144 gene sequences, which include the disease-validated targets. The inventors of this target gene patent estate, Drs. Steven Quay, James McSwiggen, Narendra Vaish, and Mohammad Ahmadian, are all Nastech employees.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of our multi-year intellectual property strategy in RNAi,” stated Steven C. Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Nastech’s Chairman and CEO. “Our goal has been to provide a patent estate for potential partners that is independent of the two primary, exclusively licensed commercial IP estates, one such estate directed broadly to RISC substrates without reference to target genes and the other such estate directed to a set of target genes that operate with either Dicer or RISC. Until now, these two estates effectively tied up the most interesting and commercially promising targets for just two companies to exploit. For the first time in several years, all 20,000 human genes are once again available for development through our patent estate enabling us to pursue any disease target of our choosing without the need to obtain licenses to existing patents.”
Conference Call and Webcast Information
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About RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNA interference, or RNAi, is a cellular mechanism that can be used to turn off the production of a protein by using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). siRNAs are double-stranded RNA molecules that are able to silence a gene in a sequence-specific manner by degradation of the target messenger RNA. In the case of an siRNA directed against influenza, the target is one or more genes that encode proteins critical for viral replication. If siRNAs are successful at turning off the production of such proteins, the spread of infection would be prevented or slowed. Nastech's RNAi research and development programs seek to develop safe and effective therapeutics by identifying key protein targets, designing the siRNA that will turn off the production of the targeted proteins, and developing a formulation for the delivery of this potential new class of therapeutics.
Nastech is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative products based on proprietary molecular biology-based drug delivery technologies. Nastech and its collaboration partners are developing products for multiple therapeutic areas including osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, autism, respiratory diseases and inflammatory conditions. Additional information about Nastech is available at http://www.nastech.com.
About MDRNA, Inc.
MDRNA, a company developing innovative products based on RNA-based technologies, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nastech. Discovery of the biological process of RNA interference (RNAi) garnered the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2006, and holds tremendous potential as a basis for human therapeutics. Nastech began work on RNAi in 2002 and has assigned its intellectual property, as it relates to the development of RNA-based therapeutics, to MDRNA in order to bring greater focus on the development of RNA-based technologies and enhance shareholder value arising from this exciting new field. Additional information about MDRNA is available at http://www.mdrnainc.com.
Nastech Forward-Looking Statement
Statements made in this press release may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Federal Securities laws that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and involve factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) the ability of Nastech or a subsidiary to obtain additional funding; (ii) the ability of Nastech or a subsidiary to attract and/or maintain manufacturing, research, development and commercialization partners; (iii) the ability of Nastech, a subsidiary and/or a partner to successfully complete product research and development, including preclinical and clinical studies and commercialization; (iv) the ability of Nastech, a subsidiary and/or a partner to obtain required governmental approvals; and (v) the ability of Nastech, a subsidiary and/or a partner to develop and commercialize products that can compete favorably with those of competitors. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in Nastech's most recent periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nastech assumes no obligation to update and supplement forward-looking statements because of subsequent events.