Tekmira Pharmaceuticals this week announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has declared a patent interference for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals' US patent covering siRNAs against a key target for its phase I liver cancer drug ALN-VSP.

As part of an ongoing lawsuit between the companies, Tekmira has alleged that certain claims in the patent, No. 7,718,629, are invalid in light of a Tekmira patent application. The patent office will now determine the priority of the subject matter in Alnylam's patent with respect to Tekmira's intellectual property, it said.

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