Marina Biotech will acquire Turing Pharmaceuticals’ intranasal ketamine program (TUR-002), the companies said today, in a deal that could generate more than $95 million for Turing.

Marina said its acquisition will include all patents and intellectual property rights, clinical development plans, regulatory documents, and existing product inventories.

Turing has sought to develop intranasal ketamine primarily to treat suicidality in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an indication Marina said has few, if any, therapeutic options. Intranasal ketamine has long been used as an intravenous anesthetic, but has been also reported to be effective as a rapid treatment for a variety of mood and anxiety disorders.

In January, Turing said it planned to complete Phase I trials for intranasal ketamine in the first half of this year in Canada, then launch pivotal registration trials in the middle of 2016 in North America and Europe.

“We believe the early clinical successes of this program combined with broadening acceptance of ketamine as a treatment for neurological and psychiatric diseases, presents a unique opportunity to rapidly move this compound into the U.S. market as early as 2019,” Marina President and CEO J. Michael French said in a statement.

French added that earlier research work by academic centers suggests that intranasal ketamine might prove effective in patients with some unspecified rare diseases.

Under the deal, Turing will receive 53 million shares of Marina common stock, which at yesterday’s closing price of 25 cents a share would be valued at $13.25 million. Marina also agreed to pay Turing up to $95 million tied to achieving success- and sales-based milestones, plus a mid-single-digit royalty on net sales.

Turing’s current management is working to move the company beyond the infamy it gained last year, when then-CEO Martin Shkreli raised the price of toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a pill, then defended the 5000% hike—touching off a political furor over sky-high drug prices.

Shkreli was ousted by Turing following his arrest December 17, 2015, on charges related to his former company Retrophin and two hedge funds before that. Shkreli has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which could land him up to 20 years in prison.

The deal is expected to close by July 1, subject to completion of customary due diligence, the completion of a definitive asset purchase agreement, and the satisfaction or waiver of closing conditions that include completion by Marina of a financing transaction yielding proceeds sufficient to initiate and support Phase III efforts.

For Marina, the deal comes nearly 3 months after it said it would explore strategic alternatives in hopes of increasing shareholder value and generating more funding for clinical and preclinical programs.

To that end, Marina on March 15 announced plans to sell its nucleic acid therapeutics assets to Microlin Bio for 6.7 million common shares and approximately $1 million cash.

Those plans have fallen through, French said in today’s statement: “We continue to explore opportunities to advance our existing clinical and preclinical programs through either our own efforts or those of a collaboration partner and leverage our nucleic acid drug discovery engine through collaborative partnerships or sale.”

Microlin issued a separate statement in which CEO and Chairman Joseph Hernandez said: “After extensive negotiations and the presentation of a proposal that was within the scope of the executed term sheet, we concluded that we would be unable to come to terms that would be both acceptable to Marina's Board and, more importantly, in the best interests of Microlin's shareholders.”

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