The intellectual property, EP Application No 02702247.4, is derived from the so-called Kreutzer-Limmer III patent series developed by Germany’s Ribopharma, which Alnylam acquired in 2003 and later sold off to Roche.
The allowed patent covers the use of multiple-promoter expression cassettes for simultaneous delivery of RNAi. Separately, the Aussie shop said the USPTO won’t likely decide a company appeal until the third quarter of next year.
Under the terms of the deal, Silence will “demonstrate the functional delivery” of its proprietary siRNA molecules, in combination with its in-house AtuPlex delivery technology, to certain undisclosed targets.
Under its new program, C-TASC will accept gene data from investigators in either raw or processed format and upload it to an online, searchable database, called StudyCTMS, which will be accessible to all researchers.
UMass further argued in its counterclaim that a key aspect of the disputed RNAi technology — the 3’ overhangs commonly incorporated into siRNAs — was an inherent feature of the RNAi molecules described in a patent application filed prior to another patent application from Max Planck that specifically claims the overhangs.
A Santaris official also said that while the company remains committed to microRNAs as drug targets, the company isn’t likely to advance additional miRNA drugs into the clinic in the near term as it takes a measured approach to selecting future clinical candidates.
Even if it is able to obtain funding, the company said it may still shut its doors “if we believe the amount of additional funding would be insufficient to allow us to make meaningful progress in developing our current product candidates.”