VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 27, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq:TKMR) (TSX:TKM), a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, today announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has extended the period of a temporary stop-work order with respect to Tekmira's TKM-Ebola program.
It is expected that by October 31, 2012, Tekmira will receive notification whether the DoD will cancel the stop-work order; terminate the contract; or further extend the stop-work order period, if necessary.
On August 6, 2012, Tekmira disclosed that it had received a temporary stop work order with respect to its TKM-Ebola program due to recently imposed funding constraints at the DoD. TKM-Ebola is being developed under a contract awarded by the U.S. Government's Transformational Medical Technologies Program. Other contractors have received similar notices as the DoD is under recently imposed funding constraints.About RNAi and Tekmira's LNP Technology RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat a broad number of human diseases by "silencing" disease causing genes. The discoverers of RNAi, a gene silencing mechanism used by all cells, were awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. RNAi therapeutics, such as "siRNAs," require delivery technology to be effective systemically. Tekmira believes its LNP technology represents the most widely adopted delivery technology for the systemic delivery of RNAi therapeutics. Tekmira's LNP platform is being utilized in multiple clinical trials by both Tekmira and its partners. Tekmira's LNP technology (formerly referred to as stable nucleic acid-lipid particles or SNALP) encapsulates siRNAs with high efficiency in uniform lipid nanoparticles that are effective in delivering RNAi therapeutics to disease sites in numerous preclinical models. Tekmira's LNP formulations are manufactured by a proprietary method which is robust, scalable and highly reproducible and LNP-based products have been reviewed by multiple FDA divisions for use in clinical trials. LNP formulations comprise several lipid components that can be adjusted to suit the specific application.