Healthcare Industry News: Sirna Therapeutics
News Release - September 8, 2006
Protiva Files Suit Against Inex in California Superior CourtVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Sep 8, 2006 -- Protiva Biotherapeutics Inc. today filed suit against Inex Pharmaceuticals Corporation (TSX:IEX.TO ) in the Superior Court of the State of California. Among other things, the suit alleges that:
1) Inex intentionally interfered with Protiva's business relationship with Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:RNAI ),
2) That this interference was an attempt to harm Protiva and coerce the company into surrendering Protiva technology to Inex, and,
3) That Inex and Inex's Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Ruane, defamed Protiva and Protiva's President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Murray.
Protiva is seeking a favourable judgment from the court on all claims, as well as general, specific and punitive damages. The company has requested a trial by jury.
"Over the past year, we have made significant progress towards achieving our goal of developing effective, nucleic acid-based pharmaceutical products to fight serious diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, and we remain determined to succeed in this pursuit," said Mark Murray, Protiva's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As part of that commitment, we are going to aggressively defend our business and our technology against the types of unlawful activity we believe Inex has engaged in."
In the suit filed today, Protiva alleges that actions taken by Inex and Ruane influenced Sirna to attempt to terminate its alliance with Protiva and to take legal action against the company.
Last Friday, Protiva filed a motion in the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking, among other things, an order preventing the assignment of agreements and intellectual property from Inex to Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation without prior consent from Protiva. This filing included an amendment to the statement of claim first filed by Protiva against Inex and several other defendants on March 24th, 2006.
Protiva is seeking a hearing on the British Columbia matter on or before September 21st, 2006. Inex currently has a special meeting of shareholders scheduled for September 20th, 2006, at which time Inex will seek shareholder approval to spin-out the company's assets into Tekmira. Inex has stated that, if the requisite shareholder approval is obtained, it will seek court approval on September 21st, 2006.
Founded in 2000, Protiva Biotherapeutics Inc. is focused on the development of nucleic acid based pharmaceutical products to fight serious human diseases, such as cancer, influenza (including H5N1), Ebola, inflammatory diseases and other chronic viral infections. Protiva's proprietary Stable Nucleic-Acid Lipid Particle (SNALP) technology is an encapsulation and delivery system for nucleic acid payloads, such as short interfering RNA (siRNA), to target cells. It represents a breakthrough in the field of RNA interference.
Protiva is headquartered in Vancouver, BC with offices in Seattle, Washington. For more information, visit www.protivabio.com.
Source: Protiva Biotherapeutics
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