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Alnylam, Isis Ink IP Licensing Deal

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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Isis Pharmaceuticals announced today that they have inked a new intellectual property cross-licensing agreement, giving each company exclusive access to the other's RNA therapeutics technologies in specific disease areas.

The companies have also agreed to non-exclusively cross-license their respective technology platforms to each other through early 2019, extending an IP deal the two signed in early 2004.

Under the new arrangement, Alnylam has provided Isis with an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to its chemistry, RNA-targeting mechanism, and target-specific IP for oligonucleotide therapeutics against two targets: Factor XI and apolipoprotein a.

Isis currently has a Factor XI-targeting antisense drug called ISIS-FXIRx in Phase II testing as a thrombosis preventative, and an apolipoprotein a-directed antisense agent called ISIS-APO(a)Rx under Phase II development for cardiovascular disease.

Isis, meanwhile, granted Alnylam an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to similar IP that it holds for two other targets: Factor XI and apolipoprotein a (Apo a).

Alnylam has an AT inhibitor called ALN-AT3 in Phase I testing for hemophilia and an ALAS-1-targeting agent called ALN-AS1 that is set to enter Phase I testing in patients with hepatic porphyrias.

"We believe that providing access to our IP supports our business strategy of generating revenue from our partners while focusing our efforts on our internal programs and promising pipeline of maturing products," Isis CEO Stanley Crooke said in a statement.

The companies' agreement also includes an IP cross-license under which Alnylam has granted Isis a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive license to new platform technology developed between May 2014 and April 2019 for single-stranded antisense therapeutics.

In exchange, Isis has given Alnylam a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive license to new platform technology for double-stranded RNAi therapeutics that it develops during the same five-year period. The IP covered under this portion of the deal includes chemistry, motif and mechanism patents, but excludes patent claims on formulations, manufacturing, and specific targets, the companies said.

"We and Isis have each benefited enormously from our long-standing collaborative efforts over the last decade," Alnylam CEO John Maraganore said in a statement. "This extended agreement adds a new feature, enabling further advancement of specific therapeutic programs on an exclusive basis, while allowing for the continued sharing of IP on technology."

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