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April 1, 2009

MDRNA Divests Remaining Non-RNAi Assets to Par

  • Par Pharmaceutical is buying MDRNA’s manufacturing facilities in Hauppauge, NY, and its generic osteoporosis treatment. The transaction closes MDRNA’s transition into a company focused solely on RNAi therapeutics.

    Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, MDRNA will receive up-front cash and double-digit profit sharing on commercial sales of its calcitonin-salmon nasal spray. In addition, Par will assume MDRNA's supply and manufacturing obligations.

    In December 2008, FDA tentatively approved the therapy, and full approval will be given in June, when Apotex’ 180-day exclusivity period ends. The products are generic equivalents of Miacalcin® marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. U.S. sales of Miacalcin were reportedly about $147 million in 2007.

    MDRNA will be left with over 237 filed patent applications addressing 153 gene sequences including numerous disease-validated targets. The firm has candidates for hypercholesterolemia, bladder cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, influenza, and lung cancer.

    “This transaction significantly reduces our non-RNAi related expenses, provides revenue from the commercial sales of calcitonin, and permits the seamless transition of the manufacturing obligations without disrupting our current customers' supply demands,” notes J. Michael French, president and CEO. “We will continue to look for means of monetizing the legacy nasal assets and remain focused on building value around our cutting-edge RNAi drug discovery platform.”

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