SOURCE: Marina Biotech, Inc.

Marina Biotech, Inc.

Marina Biotech, Inc.

September 28, 2015 08:30 ET

Marina Biotech and Hongene Biotechnology Announce License Agreement

SHANGHAI, CHINA and BOTHELL, WA--(Marketwired - Sep 28, 2015) - Marina Biotech, Inc. (OTCQB: MRNA), a leading nucleic acid-based drug discovery and development company focused on rare diseases and Hongene Biotechnology Limited announced that they have entered into a License Agreement where Hongene will have exclusive rights to develop, supply and commercialize certain oligonucleotide amidites using Marina's Conformationally Restricted Nucleotide (CRN) chemistry and in return, Marina will receive royalties from the sale of CRN-based reagents. Moreover, this Agreement will establish a ready supply of CRN amidites for Marina's therapeutic research and development effots.

"This alliance with Marina is important for Hongene as it exemplifies our strategy to provide a wide variety of high quality nucleosides and nucleotides to those companies and academics advancing cutting edge nucleic acid therapeutics," said Wei Jiang, General Manager of Hongene Biotechnology Ltd. "We have entered into this agreement because we believe Marina's proprietary CRN chemistry provides unique benefits to oligonucleotide constructs, and offers a new research and development tool to the field of nucleic acid based therapeutics. We believe we will be in a position to offer CRN-C and -T amidites by the end of this year and CRN-A and -G amidites early next year."

Conformationally Restricted Nucleotides are patented analogs in which a chemical bridge connects the C2' and C4' carbons of ribose. Ribose, a five-carbon ring-like structure, forms the central component of a nucleotide (comprised of a nucleobase, ribose, and phosphate group). The chemical bridge in the ribose of a CRN locks the ribose in a fixed conformation, which in turn restricts the flexibility of the nucleobase and phosphate group. Substitution of a CRN within an RNA- or DNA-based oligonucleotide has the advantages of increased hybridization affinity and enhanced resistance to nuclease degradation. CRN technology provides a direct means of developing highly potent and specific oligonucleotide-based therapeutics to target messenger RNAs or microRNAs. These targets connect disease pathways that are typically "undruggable" or "difficult to target" with small molecules or monoclonal antibodies, and may be critical in disease areas with significant unmet needs, such as rare diseases, inflammation, metabolic disease, and cancers.

"We are extremely pleased to have entered into this agreement with Hongene," stated J. Michael French, president and chief executive officer of Marina Biotech. "We are focused on the advancement of nucleic acid therapeutics for the treatment of rare diseases and believe that the CRN chemistry is critical to the development of highly active single and double stranded oligonucleotide agents. In particular, CRN-based oligonucleotides will be key to the further development of our preclinical programs in myotonic dystrophy and Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. Hongene will be able to provide Marina and the research community a stable supply of CRN-based oligonucleotides which we hope will, in turn, allow for the further understanding of both disease pathophysiology and the potential for nucleic acid therapeutic intervention."

About Hongene Biotechnology Limited
Hongene Biotechnology Limited was established in 1998, and using cutting edge technology, is a dedicated manufacturer in the fields of nucleosides and nucleotides in China. The company supplies only the highest quality products at competitive prices to customers worldwide, and through cooperation with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Hongene Biotechnology Limited is continuously developing new products in this area of science. Our experts are also happy to offer custom syntheses of these and related products essential for your R&D, helping to bring your products to market more efficiently. Through continuous innovation, improvement of manufacturing technologies, the strictest quality control and devoted services, we aim to help our customers achieve their goals more swiftly. Our company motto has always been "Never Knowingly Undersold On Quality." 

About Marina Biotech, Inc.
Marina Biotech is an oligonucleotide therapeutics company with broad drug discovery technologies providing the ability to develop proprietary single and double-stranded nucleic acid therapeutics including siRNAs, microRNA mimics, antagomirs, and antisense compounds, including messengerRNA therapeutics. These technologies were built via a roll-up strategy to discover and develop different types of nucleic acid therapeutics in order to modulate (up or down) a specific protein(s) which is either being produced too much or too little thereby causing a particular disease. We believe that the Marina Biotech technologies have unique strengths as a drug discovery engine for the development of nucleic acid-based therapeutics for rare and orphan diseases. Further, we believe Marina Biotech is the only company in the sector that has a delivery technology in human clinical trials with differentiated classes of payloads, through licensees ProNAi Therapeutics and Mirna Therapeutics, delivering single-stranded and double-stranded nucleic acid payloads, respectively. Our novel chemistries and other delivery technologies have been validated through license agreements with Roche, Novartis, MiNA, Monsanto, and Tekmira. The Marina Biotech pipeline currently includes a clinical program in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (a precancerous syndrome) and a preclinical program in myotonic dystrophy. Marina Biotech's goal is to improve human health through the development of RNAi- and oligonucleotide-based compounds and drug delivery technologies that together provide superior therapeutic options for patients. Additional information about Marina Biotech is available at www.marinabio.com.

Marina Biotech Forward-Looking Statements
Statements made in this news 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 Marina Biotech to obtain additional funding; (ii) the ability of Marina Biotech to attract and/or maintain manufacturing, research, development and commercialization partners; (iii) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to successfully complete product research and development, including preclinical and clinical studies and commercialization; (iv) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to obtain required governmental approvals; and (v) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to develop and commercialize products prior to, and 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 Marina Biotech's most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Marina Biotech assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements because of subsequent events.

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