Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. (Nasdaq: NSTK) announced today that Günter Blobel, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the Scientific Advisory Board of MDRNA, Inc., Nastech’s wholly-owned subsidiary for the development of RNAi technology and therapeutics. Dr. Blobel is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at The Rockefeller University in New York City. In 1999, Dr. Blobel was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in protein research.
Dr. Blobel joined The Rockefeller University in 1967 as a postdoctoral fellow in the cell biology laboratory of Professor Emeritus Philip Siekevitz, Ph.D. and Nobel Laureate George Palade, M.D. Dr. Blobel was appointed an assistant professor in 1969, associate professor in 1973, professor in 1976 and John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor in 1992. He received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) appointment in 1986 when HHMI established a unit at The Rockefeller University.
In addition to the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Blobel was the recipient of a 1993 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology in 1997, the King Faisal Award in 1996, the Ciba Drew Award in Biomedical Research in 1995, the National Academy of Sciences' 1978 U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology and a 1982 Gairdner Foundation International Award. He became a member of the Leopoldina and was elected to membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1983, the year he received the Academy's Richard Lounsbery Award for work in “uncovering the molecular interactions that control the traffic of newly synthesized proteins in eukaryotic cells; for his incisive experiments; and for the beauty of the findings.” Dr. Blobel also received the 1983 Warburg Medal, the highest award of the German Biochemical Society; the V.D. Mattia Award of the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology; the E. B. Wilson Award from the American Society for Cell Biology; Columbia University's Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize; the Waterford Bio-Medical Science Award; and the Max-Planck Forschungspreis. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, associate member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, a member of the American Philosophical Society and an honorary member of the German Society of Cell Biology and of the Japanese Biochemical Society. He served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology in 1990.
“We are fortunate and honored to have Dr. Blobel join MDRNA’s Scientific Advisory Board,” stated Steven C. Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Nastech. “We will benefit from his expert advice and years of experience in the field of protein targeting as we move forward in the development of our RNAi technology and therapeutics.”
Dr. Blobel joins a number of other researchers on the MDRNA Scientific Advisory Board including Dr. Roger D. Kornberg of Stanford University School of Medicine and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dr. Carl Novina of the Harvard Medical School, and Dr. James E. Rothman of Columbia University’s Judith P. Sulzberger, M.D. Genome Center.
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. 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, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. MDRNA develops innovative RNA-based products and technologies. Discovery of the biological process of RNA interference (RNAi) garnered the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2006, and holds tremendous potential as a basis for human therapeutics. Nastech began work on RNAi in 2003 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
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