NEW YORK, March 12 (GenomeWeb News) - Isis Pharmaceuticals and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals will jointly develop and commercialize RNAi therapeutics, Isis said yesterday.
Under the agreement, Alnylam gains exclusive access to more than 150 of Isis' US patents for use in modifying double-stranded oligonucleotides. Alnylam's access also includes the "Crooke" patents, which cover fundamental mechanisms for Rnase-dependent antisense activity and chemically modified oligonucleotides. In addition, Isis will make a $10 million equity investment in Alnylam and give the company access to its manufacturing facilities and expertise for developing RNAi therapeutics. Moreover, Isis will pay Alnylam milestone fees and royalties on any RNAi-based drugs resulting from Alnylam's technologies.
In return, Cambridge, Mass.-based Alnylam will pay Isis a $5 million technology access fee, contribute to partnering fees, and make downstream milestone and royalty payments.
The companies will also share proceeds from licenses Alnylam grants under a previously announced program that include sublicenses to Isis' patents. Isis, based in Carlsbad, Calif., will retain certain rights to a number of targets for double-stranded RNAi drugs.