Arcturus Therapeutics, which focuses on RNA interference (RNAi) technologies for the treatment of disease, has acquired the patented portfolio of Unlocked Nucleobase Analog (UNA) intellectual property from Marina Biotech. Financial terms of the UNA agreement were not disclosed.
The use of UNAs in RNAi to silence aberrant gene expression is an emerging approach in the treatment of disease. The flexible nature of UNA reduces the binding affinity between two strands of an RNAi drug and gives unique characteristics to its gene silencing abilities. UNA has the potential to improve RNAi therapeutics by increasing stability and reducing sense and antisense mediated off-target effects while retaining potency.
Arcturus now owns the UNA technology patent estate, enabling the company to operate freely and to independently pursue RNAi therapeutics.
"Incorporation of UNA technology into our drug products can improve potency, selectivity and duration of action," said Pad Chivukula, chief operating officer and chief scientific officer of Arcturus Therapeutics.