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May 21, 2012

Marina, Girindus Ink Oligonucleotide Manufacturing, Supply Deal

  • Girindus has obtained the exclusive rights to develop, supply, and commercialize certain oligonucleotide constructs using Marina Biotech's conformationally restricted nucleotide (CRN) chemistry. In return Marina will receive royalties from the sale of CRN-based oligonucleotide reagents as well as a robust supply of cGMP material for Marina and its partners' preclinical, clinical, and commercialization needs.

    CRNs 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 mAbs.

    Marina Biotech's CRN patent estate consists of two issued patents broadly covering CRN compounds and CRN containing oligonucleotides and one pending patent application covering additional applications of CRNs.

    “Girindus has re-invented its business since 2009 by developing oligonucleotide manufacturing as a major focus while leveraging its established small molecule expertise to the benefit of their client base,” notes Marc Lemaitre, CEO of Girindus America and Vorstand of Girindus. “This alliance with Marina is very important for Girindus as it clearly exemplifies our strategy to provide integrated services to our oligonucleotide customers.

    “Girindus is unique in being able to provide oligonucleotide development and manufacturing services with related analytical and regulatory support as well as apply small molecule chemistry to both amidites and oligonucleotide modifications," Lemaitre adds. "The small molecule chemistry component of our business provides our customers a one-stop-shop when they need other products related to nucleosides, exotic phosphoramidites, or drug delivery products.
    “This strategy allows Girindus to develop and exploit, to the benefit of our customers, both the solid-phase technology platform related to oligonucleotides and a wide array of established solution-phase chemistries," Lemaitre remarks. "We have decided to enter into this alliance with Marina because we believe its 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."


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