Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. (Nasdaq: NSTK) announced today that Narendra Vaish, Ph.D., MBA, Senior Research Scientist and Group Leader – RNAi Platform Technologies, will present a poster titled: RNAi Activity from siRNA Duplexes Containing Nicks or Gaps in the Passenger Strand, at the Keystone Symposia’s RNAi, MicroRNA, and Non-coding RNA meeting, on Saturday, March 29, 2008.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to present new data demonstrating our proprietary siRNA constructs, which we call meroduplexes, or mdRNAs. These meroduplexes have potential benefits including potent activity in RNA interference, stability, reduced off-target activity, and ease of manufacture,” stated Steven C. Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Nastech. “Meroduplex activity is maintained with a nick at almost any position along the siRNA passenger strand (the strand matching the target sequence) as long as the oligonucleotides retain sufficient duplex thermal stability. In addition, gaps in the passenger strand of up to six nucleotides still support RNAi, and both RISC and Dicer substrate forms are active, which should help eliminate the off-target potential caused by passenger strand loading into RISC. It should also help to elucidate the mechanism of RISC loading and passenger strand removal.”
About Keystone Symposia’s RNAi, MicroRNA, and Non-Coding RNA Meeting
The Symposia will be held at the Whistler Resort, Whistler, British Columbia, from March 25-30, 2008. At the conference, leading scientists will share recent developments in understanding the molecular mechanisms and cell biology of RNA-based post-transcriptional silencing, and for maintaining regions of silenced chromatin. Participants will consider methods to uncover regulatory networks of endogenous microRNAs and their target genes and illustrative examples in a variety of organisms. Recent advances in harnessing RNA interference for genetic screening and therapeutic gene silencing will also be explored. Scientists will explore recent developments in understanding the molecular mechanisms and cell biology of RNA-based post-transcriptional silencing and for maintaining regions of silenced chromatin. Recent advances in harnessing RNA interference for genetic screening and therapeutic gene silencing will also be shared and discussed.
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 siRNAs that will turn off the production of the targeted proteins, and developing a formulation for the delivery of this potential new class of therapeutics.
About MDRNA, Inc.
MDRNA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nastech developing innovative RNA-based products and technologies. 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 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.
Nastech Forward-Looking Statements
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.