CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Mar 28, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics
company, today announced that it has earned a $10 million technology
transfer payment from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited as part of
the strategic alliance the companies formed in May 2008. This payment is
related to the achievement of certain pre-defined objectives in the
transfer of Alnylam's platform technology, including documents,
materials, and know-how, to Takeda for the development of RNAi
therapeutics. Alnylam had previously received $140 million in upfront
and technology transfer payments from Takeda. Alnylam is also eligible
to receive significant milestones and royalties related to the Takeda's
successful advancement of RNAi therapeutic products, and has retained
certain product opt-in rights in the U.S. market.
"Our partnership with Takeda has been extremely successful; we are
encouraged by their commitment and pleased with their progress in
advancing their internal RNAi therapeutic efforts toward clinical
trials," said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of
Alnylam. "We look forward to our continued work with them in developing
RNAi therapeutics on a global basis, which includes Alnylam's opt-in
right to co-develop and co-commercialize certain Takeda RNAi therapeutic
products in the U.S. market."
"We are excited to be leading the pharmaceutical industry in the
advancement of RNAi therapeutics based on our close collaboration with
Alnylam. Indeed, our collaboration provides Takeda with a world-class
foundation for RNAi drug discovery and development," said Shigenori
Ohkawa, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Takeda.
"We are pleased by the progress we have made to date, and look forward
to continuing to advance this important innovation to patients."
alliance, which is valued at potentially over $1 billion, represents
the industry's broadest RNAi therapeutics partnership. The agreement
provides Takeda with broad, worldwide, non-exclusive access to and
enablement with Alnylam's RNAi therapeutics platform technology and
intellectual property in the fields of oncology and metabolic disease,
with the right to expand the number of therapeutic fields in the future.
In addition, it includes a collaboration and cross-license of delivery
technologies between the two companies, and a drug discovery
collaboration on certain RNAi targets. Alnylam also has the right to
opt-in and co-develop and co-commercialize Takeda RNAi therapeutic
programs in the U.S. market on a 50-50 basis; the opt-in right can be
exercised up until the start of Phase III clinical trials.
About RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNAi (RNA interference) is a revolution in biology, representing a
breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells,
and a completely new approach to drug discovery and development. Its
discovery has been heralded as "a major scientific breakthrough that
happens once every decade or so," and represents one of the most
promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug discovery
today which was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
RNAi is a natural process of gene silencing that occurs in organisms
ranging from plants to mammals. By harnessing the natural biological
process of RNAi occurring in our cells, the creation of a major new
class of medicines, known as RNAi therapeutics, is on the horizon. Small
interfering RNAs (siRNAs), the molecules that mediate RNAi and comprise
Alnylam's RNAi therapeutic platform, target the cause of diseases by
potently silencing specific mRNAs, thereby preventing disease-causing
proteins from being made. RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat
disease and help patients in a fundamentally new way.
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics
based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is leading the
translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with a core
focus on RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of genetically defined
diseases, including ALN-TTR for the treatment of transthyretin-mediated
amyloidosis (ATTR), ALN-PCS for the treatment of severe
hypercholesterolemia, and ALN-HPN for the treatment of refractory
anemia. As part of its "Alnylam 5x15TM" strategy, the company
expects to have five RNAi therapeutic products for genetically defined
diseases in advanced stages of clinical development by the end of 2015.
Alnylam has additional partner-based programs in clinical or development
stages, including ALN-RSV01 for the treatment of respiratory syncytial
virus (RSV) infection, ALN-VSP for the treatment of liver cancers, and
ALN-HTT for the treatment of Huntington's disease. The company's
leadership position on RNAi therapeutics and intellectual property have
enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including
Merck, Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, Kyowa Hakko
Kirin, and Cubist. In addition, Alnylam and Isis co-founded Regulus
Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on discovery, development, and
commercialization of microRNA therapeutics; Regulus has formed
partnerships with GlaxoSmithKline and sanofi-aventis. Alnylam has also
formed Alnylam Biotherapeutics, a division of the company focused on the
development of RNAi technologies for application in biologics
manufacturing, including recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies.
Alnylam scientists and collaborators have published their research on
RNAi therapeutics in over 100 peer-reviewed papers, including many in
the world's top scientific journals such as Nature, Nature
Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, and Cell. Founded in
2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For
more information, please visit www.alnylam.com.
Alnylam Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam's future
expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation,
statements regarding Alnylam's expectations with respect to the receipt
of future milestones and royalties under the Takeda agreement and its
expectation regarding its "Alnylam 5x15" product strategy, constitute
forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor
provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these
forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors,
including risks related to the likelihood of Alnylam successfully
achieving additional milestones under its agreement with Takeda, and
Alnylam's ability to discover and develop novel drug candidates,
successfully demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its drug candidates
in human clinical trials and establish and maintain strategic business
alliances and new business initiatives, as well as those risks more
fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of its most recent annual
report on Form 10-K on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Alnylam's views
only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views
as of any subsequent date. Alnylam does not assume any obligation to
update any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Cynthia Clayton, 617-551-8207
Senior Director, Investor Relations and
Amanda Sellers, 202-955-6222 x2597