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RaNA acquires Shire’s messenger RNA platform

Thursday, January 5, 2017

RaNA Therapeutics, a leader in the discovery and development of a new class of medicines that target RNA, has announced the acquisition of the MRT platform, an mRNA therapy platform, developed by subsidiaries of Shire. In addition, Shire’s former MRT employees, the group focused on the development of this technology since 2008, have joined RaNA to continue to advance the platform with lead programs in cystic fibrosis (CF) and urea cycle disorders (UCD).

“Shire and the MRT employees joining RaNA have done a tremendous job of building a leading mRNA therapy platform, and we are prepared to accelerate the translation of this powerful platform with the goal of developing breakthrough therapies for people living with life-limiting diseases,” said Ron Renaud, chief executive officer of RaNA Therapeutics. “This acquisition results in the most comprehensive RNA-based therapeutic approach in the industry and significantly expands RaNA’s ability to correct a wide range of disease genotypes regardless of mutation and access new targets not currently addressable by existing modalities. We are thrilled to welcome our new colleagues and introduce two new programs to our pipeline.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Shire receives an equity stake in RaNA and is eligible for future milestones and royalties on products developed with the technology.

“Shire recognizes the potential of the MRT platform, and we are committed to the smooth transition to RaNA,” said Philip Vickers, Ph.D., head of R&D at Shire. “We look forward to the development of therapies with this platform to ultimately treat patients living with debilitating diseases.”

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