ARTICLE | Company News

Nastech shifts focus to RNAi, names French CEO

June 11, 2008 1:40 AM UTC

Nastech (NASDAQ:NSTK) changed its name to MDRNA Inc. and now plans to focus on developing and commercializing RNAi-based therapeutics. The company has undisclosed preclinical RNAi programs in influenza and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). MDRNA also named J. Michael French as CEO, effective June 23. French was previously SVP of corporate development at Sirna, which was acquired by Merck (NYSE:MRK). He replaces Steven Quay, who will become CSO and remain chairman. Quay also becomes chairman of the company's SAB. The company will trade on NASDAQ under the symbol MRNA, effective Wednesday.

MDRNA will seek to license, partner or sell its nasal drug delivery business. Its Phase II intranasal programs include: PYY3-36, a nasal spray formulation of PYY3-36 hormone to treat obesity; an intranasal insulin for diabetes; and intranasal PTH 1-34, a human parathyroid hormone (PTH 1-34) delivered via Tight Junction technology to treat osteoporosis. ...