SAN DIEGO, Aug. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc., an industry leader in RNAi technologies for the treatment of disease, today announced it has acquired the patented portfolio of Unlocked Nucleobase Analog (UNA) intellectual property from Marina Biotech. Financial terms of the UNA agreement were not disclosed.
The use of UNAs in RNA interference (RNAi) to silence aberrant gene expression is an emerging and promising approach in the treatment of disease. The flexible nature of UNA reduces the binding affinity between two strands of an RNAi drug and gives unique characteristics to its gene silencing abilities. UNA has the potential to improve RNAi therapeutics by increasing stability and reducing sense and antisense mediated off-target effects while retaining potency.
Under the terms of the agreement, Arcturus now owns the UNA technology patent estate, enabling the company to operate freely and to independently pursue RNAi therapeutics. Arcturus expects to generate significant revenue from milestones; and additionally can choose to out-license the technology, if desired, to create more non-dilutive revenue.
"Incorporation of UNA technology into our drug products can improve potency, selectivity, and duration of action", said Pad Chivukula, COO & CSO of Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc. "Combining UNA technology with Arcturus delivery capabilities will provide patients with outstanding products."
"Arcturus is fully committed to developing high quality RNAi therapeutics – and the acquisition of UNA technology is an assertive step in the right direction" stated Joseph E. Payne, president and chief executive officer of Arcturus.
About Arcturus Therapeutics Founded in 2013 and based in San Diego, Calif., Arcturus Therapeutics is poised to become an industry leader in the application of RNAi technologies for the treatment of disease and improved quality of life. The company's aim is to develop breakthrough technology and novel therapeutics for rare diseases for which there is no adequate treatment. Backed by a management team with extensive experience in the discovery and development of therapeutic modalities, Arcturus is on the forefront of development and commercialization of nanoparticle siRNA drug delivery systems. For more information, visit us at www.arcturusrx.com.