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Jul 8, 2013

RaNA Taps Santaris LNA Chemistry for RNA-Targeted Drug Development

  • RaNA Therapeutics and Santaris Pharma are working together to develop RNA-targeted therapeutics that selectively activate protein expression with an initial focus on rare genetic diseases, inflammation, cancers, metabolic diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Under the terms of the agreement, RaNA has licensed rights to use Santaris’ Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform. RaNA scientists will be using this technology for the development of LNA-based drug candidates against up to 10 of its own RNA targets.

    Additionally, the license agreement includes access to Santaris chemistry capable of delivering single-stranded LNA-based drug compounds, the companies said. For this, RaNA will provide Santaris an undisclosed upfront payment. The latter firm is also eligible to receive target nomination payments, development milestones, and royalties on each product developed through this agreement.

    “We believe the LNA chemistry has important properties to contribute to RaNA's proprietary approach to selectively express therapeutic proteins,” said Arthur Craig, M.D., president and CEO at RaNA.

    Added Santaris’ Henrik Oerum, CSO and vp: “Our agreement with RaNA is yet another example of how we seek to leverage the broad applicability of our drug platform through partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry.”

    In April, Santaris linked up with Bristol-Myers Squibb in a $100 million-plus deal through which the pharma giant is also using the former firm's LNA platform.

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