BOTHELL, WA--(Marketwire - August 26, 2010) -  Marina Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) announced today that it has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Cypress Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYPB) under which Cypress will acquire Marina Biotech's patent rights and technology related to Carbetocin. Marina Biotech will receive an upfront payment of $750,000 and potential milestone payments up to $27 million in exchange for the asset. Cypress will be responsible for all future development and IP related expenses. In addition, Cypress will pay Marina Biotech royalties on commercial sales. 

Carbetocin is a long-acting analog of oxytocin, a naturally produced hormone that may benefit individuals with autism. In 2007, Nastech Pharmaceuticals, the predecessor company of Marina Biotech, completed two Phase 1 dose-escalation studies in healthy volunteers to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, bioavailability and safety of Carbetocin nasal spray.

"While we remain focused on building value around our RNAi drug discovery platforms, the sale of our Carbetocin assets to Cypress is another example of our efforts to monetize the legacy assets of our predecessor company," stated J. Michael French, President and CEO of Marina Biotech."Cypress has distinguished itself as a company that can identify potentially valuable therapeutic compounds and unmet market opportunities in the CNS area. We are pleased that Cypress has identified this as an opportunity and will fund the further development of the compound and delivery formulations. We hope to use the potential downstream financial opportunity to further fund our RNAi-based drug discovery and development efforts."

About Cypress Bioscience

Cypress Bioscience is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative drugs targeting large unmet medical needs for patients suffering from a variety of disorders of the central nervous system. Since 1999, Cypress has received multiple FDA approvals, including for Prosorba, a medical device for rheumatoid arthritis, and Savella® (milnacipran HCl), for fibromyalgia. The Company focuses on generating stockholder value by reaching clinical development milestones as quickly and efficiently as possible. Cypress' currently marketed products include Savella and the AvisePG(SM) and AviseMCV(SM) therapeutic monitoring, diagnostic and prognostic testing services for rheumatoid arthritis. Development-stage assets include BL-1020 for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, as well as AVISE-SLE(SM), a lupus diagnostic testing service. More information on Cypress and its products and development assets is available at

About Marina Biotech, Inc.

Marina Biotech (formerly known as MDRNA, Inc.) is a biotechnology company, focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products based on RNA interference (RNAi). Marina Biotech's pipeline currently includes a clinical program in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (a precancerous syndrome) and two preclinical programs -- in hepatocellular carcinoma and bladder cancer. Marina Biotech's goal is to improve human health through the development of RNAi-based compounds and drug delivery technologies that together provide superior therapeutic options for patients. Additional information is available at

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in this news release may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Federal Securities laws that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and involve factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) the ability of Marina Biotech to obtain additional funding; (ii) the ability of Marina Biotech to attract and/or maintain manufacturing, research, development and commercialization partners; (iii) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to successfully complete product research and development, including preclinical and clinical studies and commercialization; (iv) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to obtain required governmental approvals; and (v) the ability of Marina Biotech and/or a partner to develop and commercialize products that can compete favorably with those of competitors. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in Marina Biotech's most recent periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under MDRNA Inc. Marina Biotech assumes no obligation to update and supplement forward-looking statements because of subsequent events.

Contact Information:

Pete Garcia
Chief Financial Officer
(425) 908-3603

Westwicke Partners (Investors):
Stefan Loren, Ph.D.
(443) 213-0507
John Woolford
(443) 213-0506

McKinney|Chicago (Media):
Alan Zachary
(312) 944-6784 × 316
(708) 707-6834