Servier and Miragen Sign Partnership Agreement for the Research, Development and Commercialization of MicroRNA-targeting Drugs for Cardiovascular Disease


SURESNES, France, and BOULDER, Colo., October 18, 2011 – Les Laboratoires Servier and Miragen Therapeutics, Inc., a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on improving patients’ lives by developing innovative microRNA (miRNA)-based therapeutics for cardiovascular and muscle disease, announced an agreement for advancing the research, development and commercialization of three drug candidates, including two of miRagen’s lead programs (miR-208 and miR-15/195) and one additional target yet to be identified, for cardiovascular disease. This partnership provides worldwide rights, excluding the U.S. and Japan, to Servier.

Under the terms of the agreement, Miragen will receive upfront payment , research support and near-term milestone payments over the next three years, as well as royalties on sales, based on the successful outcome of the collaboration. Miragen and Servier will collaborate on the research and development effort, while Servier alone will be responsible for all costs associated with the global development, regulatory approval and commercialization of the three product candidates worldwide, excluding the U.S. and Japanese markets. Miragen retains all rights in the U.S. and Japan, and the option to co-sponsor any Phase III programs in the event that Miragen, alone or together with a partner, should seek marketing approvals for any of the targets in the U.S. and Japan.

We are very pleased with this new partnership, which demonstrates once again our ability to explore truly innovative treatments for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, these diseases still represent the number one cause of mortality in most of the world,” said Emmanuel Canet, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Servier R&D.

More and more evidence is gathering to show that some microRNAs are not only cardiovascular biomarkers, but they also play a significant role in the pathogenesis of various diseases from heart failure to coronary disease,” added Dr Jean-Paul Vilaine, Head of Servier’s Cardiovascular Unit.

Our agreement with Servier not only provides validation of our lead programs in cardiac disease, but further underscores the potential of our innovative technology platform to deliver compelling drug candidates,” said William S. Marshall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Miragen Therapeutics, Inc. “We are delighted to partner with Servier, whose demonstrated leadership and expertise in the development of cardiovascular drugs are truly impressive. By combining our strengths, we hope to translate the potential of microRNA targeting into life-changing medicines for patients in need.”

The agreement includes two of Miragen’s lead programs: miR-208, which plays an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of heart failure, and miR-15/195, which plays a role in the survival and proliferative capacity of cardiomyocytes. The agreement also includes one additional cardiovascular microRNA modulator yet to be identified.