MDRNA, Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with Novartis for MDRNA's liposomal technology platform for siRNA delivery. MDRNA will receive $7.25 million in upfront fees for the non-exclusive license. Additionally, the companies have entered into a separate agreement, which provides Novartis with an exclusive period to negotiate a research and development collaboration and broader licensing rights related to MDRNA's RNAi drug delivery platform. Terms of this separate agreement were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Novartis, a global leader in the field of RNAi-based therapeutics," stated J. Michael French, president and chief executive officer of MDRNA. "MDRNA's DiLA2 technology for siRNA delivery is effective and efficient at silencing gene targets in the liver and jejunum. Further, the in vivo tolerability of the DiLA2 technology is excellent. We have not observed any delivery related adverse effects in the liver as measured by typical serum chemistries or any significant increases in cytokine levels, which are hallmarks of cell damage. We view this license as yet another important validation of our siRNA technologies and we look forward to a strong and growing relationship with Novartis."

The DiLA2 Platform is MDRNA's proprietary technology platform for creating novel liposomal delivery systems from amino acids. The DiLA2 Platform enables MDRNA to tailor the charge, linker and acyl chains of amino acids in order to optimize the liposome for delivery to the target tissue of interest. In addition, the Platform is designed to permit attachment of various peptides and other targeting molecules to improve a variety of delivery characteristics. In addition, MDRNA is utilizing peptides for nanoparticle formulations to increase cellular uptake and endosomal release.

MDRNA is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products based on RNA interference (RNAi). Our goal is to improve human health through the development of RNAi-based compounds and drug delivery technologies that together provide superior therapeutic options for patients.