San Diego Business Journal

Arcturus Therapeutics Acquires Patent Portfolio from Marina Biotech

Thursday, August 15, 2013

San Diego-based Arcturus Therapeutics Inc., a biotech startup founded earlier this year, has acquired about 30 patents from Cambridge, Mass.-based Marina Biotech Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The new patent portfolio is in the field of RNAi therapeutics — a burgeoning field led by Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Cambridge, Mass.-based Alnylam Therapeutics Inc.

“We’ll be competing with them in San Diego in the same research space,” said Padmanabh Chivukala, founder, chief scientific officer and chief operating officer at Arcturus.

Arcturus, which is being incubated at Janssen Labs life science innovation center in La Jolla, uses what’s called RNA interference technology to create ways to interrupt the development of disease-causing genes.

The company announced in June that it has raised $1.3 million in seed funding from a network of private investors in the U.S. and Canada. Chivukala said the company is in the middle of a Series A financing round.

The company said its aim is to develop treatments for rare diseases, though it hasn’t yet disclosed any specific targets.

— Meghana Keshavan