UPDATED: Santaris wins as partner in Miragen's $352M deal

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Santaris Pharma didn't make some of the headlines in the deal, but the Danish biotech factors prominently in its partner Miragen's microRNA pact with the French drugmaker Servier. While Boulder, CO-based Miragen brings the microRNA tech and Servier the capital to the new alliance, Santaris is providing the capabilities of its Locked Nucleic Acid platform to the two other companies.

Miragen's deal with Servier covers two of its lead microRNA programs for cardiovascular conditions, and both of those drugs use Santaris's Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) platform, which allows for the inhibition of RNA targets without cumbersome delivery technologies. Yet with Miragen's new deal with Servier, which could be worth $1 billion depending on the success of the programs involved in the pact, Miragen's June 2010 agreement with Santaris related to its LNA tech has been expanded. The expanded pact gives Miragen and Servier additional access to Santaris's LNA platform for new microRNA programs. Financial details of the expanded alliance with Santaris weren't revealed in Miragen's release.

"We are pleased to expand our alliance with Miragen to include additional cardiovascular targets and provide access to Santaris Pharma's LNA technology in order to help Servier and Miragen to develop LNA-based microRNA-targeted drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease," Soren Tulstrup, Santaris's president and CEO, said in a statement. "This agreement further validates that Santaris Pharma's LNA Drug Platform is the technology-of-choice for developing RNA-targeted medicines."

Servier's new pact with Miragen places the Boulder upstart in a much stronger financial position, bringing $45 million in upfront money into its coffers with up to $352 million in potential milestones. Santaris appears to be sharing in its partner Miragen's good fortune, building on the Danish developer's existing alliances with companies such as U.S. drug giant Pfizer ($PFE).

- get the story from FierceBiotech
- read Miragen's release

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Editor's Note: The LNA platform is not a delivery platform, as this article originally stated. The article has been updated and corrected accordingly.