NEW YORK, Oct. 30 - Alnylam, of Cambridge, Mass., has formed a collaboration with researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to develop an RNA interference-based drug that suppresses genes over-expressed in people with Parkinson's disease, the company said today.
Under the collaboration, Alnylam will define and synthesize RNA interference - or RNAi -- compounds, and will provide them to the Mayo Clinic researchers, which have recently identified a causal pathway in Parkinson's disease and published these findings in Science. Alnylam will also fund research at the Mayo Clinic for development of the drug that expresses a gene in the pathway, alpha-synuclein, the company said. The Mayo Clinic researchers will test the RNAi compounds and test them for in vitro and in vivo efficacy.
"This collaboration with Alnylam creates the possibility of previously unimagined therapeutic advances for Parkinson's patients," Matthew Farrer, assistant professor of neuroscience and the director of a neurogenetics laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., said in a statement.