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Biotech / Medical
Nastech [NSTK] -Sm & Lrg Molecule Intranasal drug delivery
An SI Board Since August 2001
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Emcee:  IngotWeTrust Type:  Moderated
Nastech changes name, focuses on gene-silencing

TRADING SYMBOL: MRNA as of June 12, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) - After several months of mulling over a plan to spin off its
RNAi gene-silencing therapy business, Nastech Pharmaceutical Inc. said Tuesday
it will instead shift the entire company's focus to this growing field of
cutting-edge medicine.

Nastech, which has focused until now on making nasal-delivered drugs, will
change its name to mdRNA Inc. to signal its focus on RNAi technology. The goal
of RNAi, a young technology discovered by subsequent 2006 Nobel Prize winners
Craig Mello and Andrew Fire, is to shut down the protein at the root of a
disease or condition, in effect "silencing" the gene.

Researchers and Wall Street both see RNAi's potential in the development of
cutting-edge treatments for a range of conditions, including cancer.

"What the company has recognized, or decided, is that RNAi represents very
significant potential," said the company's incoming Chief Executive J. Michael
French, in an interview with The Associated Press. He believes Nastech can be a
critical player in the growing field.

French comes to the restructured Nastech from Sirna Therapeutics, an RNAi
company that made a splash on Wall Street when it garnered $1.1 billion in a
buyout deal from Merck & Co in 2007.

Dr. Steven C. Quay, Nastech's current CEO, will become chief scientific
officer of mdRNA and chairman of the new company's scientific advisory board
when the change takes place June 23. He will remain chairman of the board of

The company, which has more than 260 patents in the field of RNAi addressing
144 gene sequences, will focus on current preclinical RNAi programs for flu and
rheumatoid arthritis. As mdRNA, it will try to either license or sell its
midstage intranasal delivery assets, which are focused on treating obesity,
diabetes and osteoporosis.

The transformed company will have about 80 employees. It started slashing
jobs from a level of 230 workers late last year in an effort to contain costs.

Analysts had maintained a skeptical stance on the company in the wake of
canceled nasal delivery program parterships, starting in 2006 when Merck pulled
out of a partnership over a developing obesity treatment. In November 2007,
Procter & Gamble ended its relationship with the company on a nasally delivered
osteoporosis drug -- sending shares into a downward spiral from which they
haven't yet recovered.

The stock, which closed unchanged in Tuesday trading at $1.19, is down 93
percent from its 52-week high of $17.05 reached in August.

Nastech is now jumping into a widening pool of competitors in the RNAi field
that include Merck with its Sirna unit, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, which
recently signed a lucrative development deal for RNAi technology with Japan's
Takeda. Alynlam also has a deal with Roche and a joint venture called Regulus
Therapeutics with Isis Pharmaceuticals.

Another player in the field, CytRx Corp., has its own RNAi subsidiary called
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp.

French said he's confident that new therapies based on RNAi technology could
come sooner than most people think, judging by industry interest and swift
progression of the technology. He referred to researchers Mello and Fire, whose
shared Nobel Prize for medicine in 2006 came just eight years after their
scientific discovery.

"What's significant was the time between discovery and reward," French said.
"That normally takes decades because it takes time to understand the magnitude
of the discovery, but it was so rapidly and quickly embraced that it is a
testament to how important this biological process is."

July 22, 2008 updated---
may my longtime friend, Ken Gammage, continue to rest in peace!
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ReplyMessage PreviewFromRecsPosted
80In @ $1.04!mlkr-5/20/2010
79ALNY revoked MRNA’s RNAi license for the TNF-alpha pathway because ALNY says MRNDewDiligence_on_SI-8/6/2008
78French left ROSG in Aug 2007. What was strange about yesterday’s NSTK PR was thaDewDiligence_on_SI-6/12/2008
77Just where does this fellow spend his time-- with Nastech/mdRNA or at the US ROSMike McFarland-6/11/2008
76My take on this news, FWIW: siliconinvestor.comDewDiligence_on_SI-6/10/2008
75Nastech changes name, focuses on gene-silencing Tuesday June 10, 4:50 pm ET By Dtnsaf-6/10/2008
74NSTK says its intranasal insulin has “little to no pulmonary exposure.” In otheDewDiligence_on_SI-6/9/2008
73NSTK sing along (from a post by ‘rnaeye’ on iVillage): <b> “Yesterday” &lDewDiligence_on_SI-11/13/2007
72A heavy load of BS from Dr Quay… siliconinvestor.comDewDiligence_on_SI-11/7/2007
71Proctor & Gamble Dumps NSTK’s Intranasal PTH: My contention DewDiligence_on_SI-11/7/2007
70I’ve been posting that NSTK is a loser company for the past four years and, so fDewDiligence_on_SI-3/27/2007
69You're welcome, Kent. Welcome to the forum. If you feel so inclined, keep IngotWeTrust-3/26/2007
68Thanks G_T - I watch Cramer sporadically but do occassionally throw his picks inrkf-3/26/2007
67Depends upon one's definition of "closely" LOL And who's askIngotWeTrust-3/25/2007
66anyone still following this one closely? Cramer recommended it this week.rkf-3/24/2007
65Hey Dew, how's your rat's milk company doing ?baystock-12/25/2006
64The bottom line: NSTK’s “tight junction” technology probably doesn’t work as weDewDiligence_on_SI-12/4/2006
63Thank you, Steven Emmerich for taking the time to post that Nastech update on thIngotWeTrust-12/4/2006
62NSTK down a bit in aftermarket: Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. Provides Upsjemmeri-12/4/2006
61From NSTK’s PR: <i>>If Nastech is not successful at keeping this appliDewDiligence_on_SI-7/13/2006
60Nastech Receives $7 Million Milestone Payment from Procter & Gamble for Advanigel bates-6/8/2006
59My dumb.nigel bates-6/8/2006
58You asked on another board why this “news” did not attract more attention. The aDewDiligence_on_SI-6/8/2006
57Nastech Submits Investigational New Drug Application for PYY3-36 Nasal Spray to nigel bates-6/7/2006
56NSTK, PG Ink Supply Component of PTH Deal investorshub.comDewDiligence_on_SI-6/6/2006
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