Patent Protects Use of UNAs in Multiple Nucleic Acid Constructs Including siRNAs, microRNA Mimics, Antagomirs and Single-Stranded Constructs

Marina Biotech LogoBOTHELL, WA–(Marketwire – Jan 23, 2012) – Marina Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNAD), a leading oligonucleotide-based drug discovery and development company today announced that the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has issued a Notice of Acceptance for patent application 580712. The claims broadly cover multiple sequence independent and length independent, nucleic acid constructs having one or more unlocked nucleobase analogs (UNAs). The nucleic acid constructs of the patent include both RISC and dicer length siRNAs, both microRNA mimetics and microRNA antagomirs as well as single-stranded oligonucleotides.

“The company continues to deliver on a patent strategy which expands and protects our broad oligonucleotide therapeutics platform,” stated J. Michael French, President and CEO at Marina Biotech. “This allowed patent is part of our global UNA patent portfolio providing broad and comprehensive protection for multiple, distinct UNA containing nucleic acid constructs all of which can modulate gene expression through distinct cellular mechanisms including RNAi, mRNA translational inhibition, steric blocking or microRNA pathways. This patent allowance reinforces our belief that we will continue to obtain patent protection for our UNA technology in other countries thereby strengthening the company’s intellectual property position for our broad oligonucleotide drug discovery platform.”

UNA are non-nucleotide, acyclic monomers which provide greater structural flexibility in a nucleic acid strand. Their value has been demonstrated in Marina Biotech’s proprietary UsiRNA constructs which are double-stranded small interfering RNA (siRNA) incorporating at least one UNA monomer and are distinct from the standard siRNA constructs used by others in the industry. UsiRNAs are specifically designed to provide greater specificity for RNAi-based therapeutics. Substitution with UNA [click to continue…]