VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq:TKMR) (TSX:TKM), a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, announced it has amended the terms of its US$3.0 million term loan from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) to extend the deadline from September 30, 2012 to December 31, 2012 for any draw down on the loan. "We are pleased with the continued strong support from our financial partners at Silicon Valley Bank. By amending this credit facility, we have further financial flexibility to continue to fund our core business activities," said Dr. Mark J. Murray, Tekmira's President and CEO. The US$3.0 million loan from SVB may be drawn down at the discretion of the Company at any time prior to December 31, 2012. The loan matures on September 1, 2015 and carries a fixed interest rate of 8% annually. If Tekmira chooses to draw down on the loan, principal and interest payments will be made monthly starting on January 1, 2013. Tekmira has not yet drawn down on the loan. The loan will be secured by the assets of the Company and does not include any financial covenants. 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.