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Quark Licenses Alnylam RNAi IP, Vows to End Opposition to IP in Europe, and Pens Deal With Pfizer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has granted Quark Biotech licenses to discover, develop, and commercialize RNAi therapeutics targeting the RTP801 gene for age-related macular degeneration, the companies said yesterday.
Simultaneously, Quark has agreed to withdraw its support of opposition to the Kreutzer-Limmer patent estate currently granted in Europe.
Separately yesterday, Quark said that Pfizer has acquired an exclusive worldwide license to RTP801 and to molecules that modify its expression or function.
Financial terms of the Alnylam deal were not disclosed. However, the companies said they include upfront, annual, and milestone payments, as well as royalties on sales of any products covered by the deal.
Also yesterday SR Pharma said that its Atugen subsidiary will receive $95 million in milestone payments and royalties after collaborator Quark penned the Pfizer deal. Quark and Atugen developed RTP-801, Quark said.
SR Pharma said it will receive an initial payment of $2 million and a first milestone payment of $1.5 million on the start of the Phase I trial. All agreements are subject to certain conditions which include the clearance by the US Federal Trade Commission.
Based on pre-clinical models, it is believed that RNAi can treat AMD by blocking the expression of the RTP-801 gene.

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.