Marina Biotech said today it will explore a range of strategic alternatives it hopes will increase shareholder value and generate more funding for the company’s clinical and preclinical programs.

Marina has retained Objective Capital Partners as its exclusive advisor in exploring alternatives, with oversight from an independent special committee of the Board of Directors so that management can focus on ongoing initiatives and operations, the company said.

“The Board of Directors for Marina has determined that it is in the best interest of its shareholders to consider itself a possible acquisition target to a strategic company that possesses the necessary resources to invest in and capitalize on the significant potential of Marina's proprietary delivery technologies, novel chemistries, and rare disease pipeline,” Joseph W. Ramelli, chair of the independent special committee, said in a statement.

Marina’s shares on the OTC Markets Group (formerly Pink Sheets) closed yesterday at 16 cents a share, down over the past year from 62 cents a share at the close of trading February 17, 2015.

J. Michael French, Marina’s president and CEO, added: “It is imperative that we consider ourselves a potential acquisition target as our capabilities are complementary and synergistic with several other biotechnology companies.”

Headquartered in Bothell, WA, Marina focuses on discovering, developing, and commercializing nucleic acid−based therapies for orphan diseases. Those therapies include siRNAs, microRNA mimics, antagomirs, and antisense compounds, such as messengerRNA (mRNA) therapeutics.

Marina's lead clinical program is CEQ508 for Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, which has received the FDA’s Orphan Drug and Fast Track designations. The company also has preclinical programs designed to develop treatments for type 1 myotonic dystrophy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Marina added that it has not set a timetable for completion of its strategic review “unless or until the Board has approved a definitive course of action.”

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