Alnylam and Roche Advance RNAi Therapeutic Collaboration Phase of Landmark 2007 Alliance
- Category: DNA RNA and Cells
- Published on Wednesday, 04 November 2009 02:00
- Hits: 1235
– Partners to Co-Develop and Co-Commercialize Certain RNAi Therapeutic Products in U.S. Market –
– Collaboration to Include Alnylam Lipid Nanoparticle and Roche Dynamic Polyconjugate Delivery Technologies –
CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA | November 4, 2009 | Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that it has advanced to the RNAi therapeutic collaboration stage of its landmark alliance with Roche formed in 2007. In this phase of the collaboration, the partners will jointly collaborate on the discovery and development of specific RNAi therapeutic products and each will contribute key delivery technologies in the new disease target-focused effort. New delivery technologies include Alnylam lipid nanoparticles and Roche Madison dynamic polyconjugate delivery technologies. Alnylam and Roche will co-develop and co-commercialize RNAi therapeutic products in the U.S. market and Alnylam is eligible to receive additional milestone and royalty payments for products developed in the rest of world.
“We are excited to advance to this phase of our 2007 agreement, as our joint efforts combine many strengths of the Alnylam and Roche platforms on specific disease target programs,” said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam. “Our partnership with Roche remains very strong and we look forward to working together to bring our innovation to patients.”
“Since the formation of our alliance with Alnylam and the establishment of Roche Kulmbach and Roche Madison as Centers of Excellence for RNA therapeutic research, we have made significant progress in advancing this technology as a potential new class of innovative medicines,” said Louis Renzetti, Ph.D., Vice President of RNA Therapeutics Research of Roche. “We continue to view RNAi as having true potential as a whole new class of differentiated drugs to benefit patients.”
In July 2007, Alnylam granted to Roche a non-exclusive license providing access to broad Alnylam intellectual property (IP) and know-how, including fundamental, chemistry and delivery IP, in the fields of oncology, respiratory disease, metabolic disease, and certain liver diseases. In addition, Alnylam and Roche agreed to collaborate on RNAi therapeutics drug discovery for a defined number of disease targets, subject to certain Alnylam third party obligations. As part of the agreement, Roche also acquired Alnylam’s Kulmbach-based research & development (R&D) organization which has now become Roche Kulmbach, a Roche Centre of Excellence for RNA therapeutics. In July 2008, Roche acquired Madison, WI-based Mirus Technologies, Inc., a pioneer in the discovery of a novel RNAi delivery technology known as dynamic polyconjugates. Mirus has become Roche Madison, an additional Roche Centre of Excellence for RNA therapeutics.
About RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNAi (RNA interference) is a revolution in biology, representing a breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells, and a completely new approach to drug discovery and development. Its discovery has been heralded as “a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so,” and represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug discovery today which was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. RNAi is a natural process of gene silencing that occurs in organisms ranging from plants to mammals. By harnessing the natural biological process of RNAi occurring in our cells, the creation of a major new class of medicines, known as RNAi therapeutics, is on the horizon. RNAi therapeutics target the cause of diseases by potently silencing specific messenger RNAs (mRNAs), thereby preventing disease-causing proteins from being made. RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat disease and help patients in a fundamentally new way.
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is applying its therapeutic expertise in RNAi to address significant medical needs, many of which cannot effectively be addressed with small molecules or antibodies, the current major classes of drugs. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world’s top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics; its most advanced program is in Phase II human clinical trials for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and is partnered with Cubist and Kyowa Hakko Kirin. In addition, the company is developing RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of a wide range of disease areas, including liver cancers, hypercholesterolemia, Huntington’s disease, and TTR amyloidosis. The company’s leadership position in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how relating to RNAi has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and Cubist. To reflect its outlook for key scientific, clinical, and business initiatives, Alnylam established “RNAi 2010” in January 2008 which includes the company’s plan to significantly expand the scope of delivery solutions for RNAi therapeutics, have four or more programs in clinical development, and to form four or more new major business collaborations, all by the end of 2010. Alnylam and Isis are joint owners of Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA-based therapeutics. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.alnylam.com.
SOURCE: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.