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.