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Amid Delivery Tech Dispute, Alnylam Forges Collaboration with Precision NanoSystems

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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals announced this week that it has forged an exclusive collaboration with Vancouver, Canada-based Precision Nanosystems to discover and develop novel small lipid nanoparticles using microfluidics, marking the latest in a series of delivery-focused collaborations inked over the past year.

According to the companies, Precision NanoSystems' LNPs are roughly 20 nanometers in size, opening the door to effective siRNA delivery to organs and tissues beyond the liver. Additional terms of the arrangement were undisclosed.

Notably, the deal comes at a time when Alnylam is embroiled in a lawsuit with partner Tekmira Pharmaceuticals over rights to LNP technologies that Tekmira has been developing and Alnylam has been using in certain of its drug candidates including the phase I cancer treatment ALN-VSP (GSN 3/17/2011 & 4/7/2011).

It also comes shortly after two other RNAi delivery collaborations were unveiled, one between Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical and Korea-based Samyang, and another between Access Pharmaceuticals and an undisclosed international pharmaceutical firm (GSN 4/14/2011).

A number of agreements within the RNAi therapeutics space around delivery technologies, in fact, have been struck recently, involving both big pharmas and companies with a narrower focus. Below is a breakdown of key deals since the beginning of 2010.

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