NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Miragen Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of microRNA-targeted therapies, has completed its merger with molecular diagnostics company Signal Genetics.
Miragen also said it has received $40.7 million in new equity investment from a combination of current and new investors, including Fidelity Management and Research Company, Brace Pharma Capital, Atlas Venture, Boulder Ventures, Jafco, MP Healthcare Venture Management, MRL Ventures, Remeditex Ventures, and others.
Miragen President and CEO William Marshall said in a statement that the equity investment "aligns the company’s cash resources with our plan to advance the first two clinical programs into additional trials and to develop a compelling pipeline of targeted product candidates, each focused on patient populations with few clinical options."
When the companies announced that they had entered a merger agreement in October, Marshall said that they believed "microRNA targeting therapeutics have the potential to address complex diseases with high unmet medical need." The proceeds from the financing round executed with the merger may allow the company to advance its lead assets in hematological malignancy and pathological fibrosis into later stage clinical evaluation, he noted today.
Miragen’s lead product candidate, MRG-106, a synthetic microRNA antagonist of microRNA-155, is currently being studied in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients suffering from the mycosis fungoides subtype of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Miragen is also conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial of MRG-201, its lead anti-fibrosis product candidate and a synthetic microRNA mimic to microRNA-29b, in human volunteers.
Adding pre-merger cash on Miragen's balance sheet, the combined company has approximately $60 million in cash and short-term investments, the firm said.
Upon completion of the merger, Signal was absorbed into Miragen, and Miragen took on Signal's Nasdaq listing. The combined company was scheduled to commence trading on the index today using the symbol “MGEN.”
Signal was founded in January 2010 and became a licensee for research on multiple myeloma performed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
While announcing that it was being acquired by Miragen in October, Signal said that it had inked a non-binding letter of intent with a large global diagnostic laboratory for the sale of intellectual property assets related to Signal’s MyPRS multiple myeloma prognostic risk signature test.