Novartis has extended its RNAi therapeutics collaboration with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals for a fifth and final year, through October 2010. The alliance, initiated in 2005, is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics toward Novartis-selected disease gene targets.
Both companies are responsible for RNAi discovery activities and Novartis is responsible for development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutic products. Novartis will continue to fund R&D efforts. Novartis retains the right to exercise a non-exclusive platform from Alnylam in exchange for certain license payments, as well as an undisclosed payment and future milestones and royalties. Also, Novartis retains certain rights to purchase Alnylam equity up to its current ownership level, which is approximately 13%.
“We are thrilled that Novartis has once again elected to extend our alliance, this time for a fifth and final planned year,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Alnylam. “This is the second extension that Novartis has elected to make, which we believe reflects the success of our collaborative efforts as well as the scientific progress we have made in advancing our innovative technology to patients. Novartis has been an industry pioneer in recognizing the potential of RNAi therapeutics as a new class of medicines, and we look forward to continuing our work with them.”
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