Marina Biotech, Inc. (OTCMKTS:MRNA) continues to trade strong over its now established support over a dime. The stock spiked to highs of $0.517 in May before coming back down to current levels.
MRNA used to be a high flyer on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange and as everyone knows; ex big board stocks that hit the bb’s tend to make highly explosive moves which is exactly what MRNA did early last year running from $0.20 base to highs of $1.75.
Marina Biotech, Inc. (OTCMKTS:MRNA) bills itself as a leading nucleic acid-based drug discovery and development company focused on rare diseases. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics utilizing multiple mechanisms of action including RNA interference and messenger RNA translational blocking.
MRNA broad drug discovery technologies provide 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.
MRNA 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. The Company’s novel chemistries and other delivery technologies have been validated through license agreements with Roche, Novartis, MiNA Therapeutics, Monsanto, and Tekmira.
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In November MRNA said it received a milestone payment, in the amount of $200,000, from its licensee, MiNA Therapeutics Limited (MiNA), a privately-held biotechnology company pioneering short activating RNA (saRNA) as therapeutic agents for the treatment of human diseases.
CEO Michael French said “We are extremely pleased with MiNA’s progress as the forerunner in the development of saRNA-based therapeutics. Further, I believe the rapid advancement of their technology continues to demonstrate the versatility of SMARTICLES for the safe and effective delivery of nucleic acid compounds.”
Last year 18 MRNA announced its SMARTICLES® licensee Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIRN) of Austin, TX, recently announced the presentation of interim results from its ongoing Phase I clinical trial of MRX34, Mirna’s lead therapeutic candidate. Mirna’s poster presentation was titled, “Safety, tolerability, and clinical activity of MRX34, the first-in-class liposomal miR-34 mimic, in patients with advanced solid tumors” and presented on November 8, 2015 at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Boston, MA. The poster reported interim Phase I clinical results for MRX34 from 75 patients with advanced solid tumors.
In addition, SMARTICLES licensee MiNA Therapeutics Limited recently announced the presentation of pre-clinical data on its MTL-CEBPA program in which the compound was shown to improve several markers of liver function in a rat model of liver failure. MiNA’s oral presentation was titled, “Systemic administration of novel development candidate, MTL-CEBPA, up-regulates the liver enriched transcription factor C/EBP-α, and reverses CCI4-induced liver failure in vivo” and presented on November 16, 2015 at the 2015 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting in San Francisco, CA.
On June 2 MRNA announced J. Michael French, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, is resigning effective June 10, 2016 to pursue other opportunities. Current board member, Joseph W. Ramelli, will assume the roles of chairman of the board and acting chief executive officer. The board of directors is currently conducting a search for a new CEO.
“The Board thanks Mr. French for his efforts and leadership of Marina, including the transition of the company from an oligonucleotide therapeutics company to a late-stage therapeutics company, with the pending completion of our proposed agreement with Turing Pharmaceuticals for its late-stage intranasal ketamine program. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Mr. Ramelli. “The Board has already begun a search for a new Chief Executive Officer with the expertise and experience necessary to fully execute on the opportunity provided by the ketamine program.”
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Currently trading at a $3.6 million market valuation MRNA has no cash, no revenues to date and manageable debt. There are plenty of reasons to get excited about MRNA here; as stated MRNA pipeline currently includes a clinical program in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and a preclinical program in myotonic dystrophy. The stock is also an ex-NASDAQ high flyer with a history of explosive moves running from $0.20 to $1.75 in early 2014. We will be updating on MRNA when more details emerge so make sure you are subscribed to Microcapdaily so you know what’s going on with MRNA.
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Disclosure: we hold no position in MRNA either long or short and we have not been compensated for this article.