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Alnylam and Ribopharma Merge; New Entity Secures $24.6M Financing

NEW YORK, July 7 - RNA interference firms Alnylam and Ribopharma today said they have merged and that the combined entity has raised an additional round of  € 21.5 million ($24.6 million) in private equity financing.


The new company, to be named Alnylam Holding Co., claims that the additional funding brings its total capital to more than $43 million, placing it "among the best capitalized companies in the field of RNAi-based therapeutics."


The company's global headquarters will be in Cambridge, Mass., while the Ribopharma operating unit will be based in Kulmbach, Germany. John Maraganore, formerly president and CEO of Alnylam, will be president and CEO of the merged company. Roland Kreutzer, founder and previously CEO of Ribopharma, will serve as COO of the Ribopharma operating unit; and Stefan Limmer, founder and previously CSO of Ribopharma, will serve as CTO of the combined entity.


The new company's intellectual property estate includes patents in RNAi technology from Alnylam and patents relating to product composition and therapeutic applications of RNAi from Ribopharma. The combined company also boasts RNAi-based collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Max Planck Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and Rockefeller University.


The new financing round includes investments by Polaris Venture Partners, Abingworth Management, Cardinal Partners, Atlas Venture, and Arch Venture Partners. Alnylam said the funding would be used to accelerate its research and commercial initiatives in RNAi-based therapeutics, while expanding its commercial and scientific teams.


The board of directors of the new company will consist of Maraganore; John Clarke, founder and chairman of the board of Alnylam and managing general partner of Cardinal Partners; Christoph Westphal, founder and vice chairman of the board of Alnylam and general partner of Polaris Venture Partners; John Berriman, director of Abingworth Management; Peter Barrett, senior principal of Atlas Venture; Phillip Sharp, Nobel Laureate and professor at MIT Center for Cancer Research; and Paul Schimmel, professor at Scripps Research Institute.

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