Shire has sold off its messenger RNA therapy platform MRT to Cambridge, Massachusetts-based RaNA Therapeutics.

The value of the deal was kept under wraps but it was announced that Shire will get an undisclosed equity stake in the firm, and also stands to receive future milestones and royalties on products developed with the technology.

As part of the deal, Shire's former MRT employees will also join RaNA to continue to advance the platform with lead late-stage preclinical programmes in cystic fibrosis and urea cycle disorders.

"This acquisition results in the most comprehensive RNA-based therapeutic approach in the industry and significantly expands RaNA's ability to correct a wide range of disease genotypes regardless of mutation and access new targets not currently addressable by existing modalities," noted the firm's chief executive Ron Renaud, commenting on the strategy behind the move.