New company merger makes way for Alnylam to expand RNAi access

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. On the announcement of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and Protiva Biotherapeutics’ business transaction to create a new company for RNAi delivery and therapeutics, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, has decided to also become part of the new joint venture in expanding access to key technologies and intellectual property for systematic delivery of RNAi products, according to published reports.

Alnylam is also set to grant the new company, along with an equity investment of $5 million in Tekmira at the price of $2.50 per share, licenses to discover, develop and commercialize RNAi therapeutics. RNAi is a natural process of gene slicing that understands how genes turn cells off and on. Learning the way the genes work has become a breakthrough in finding medicines that will prevent or cure diseases.

According to published reports, Alnylam will still maintain exclusive rights to the Semple and Wheeler patents for cationic liposomal delivery, and will also help co-develop and co-commercialize the company’s PLK1 SNALP program for the treatment in various cancers.

According to Barry Greene, president and chief operating officer of Alnylam, “We have long valued the technologies and know-how of both Tekmira and Protiva and are pleased that this key technology and IP can now reside in one entity. For quite some time, this has been the right answer for the scientific and clinical advancement of RNAi therapeutics. Our expanded relationship with the new Tekmira significantly broadens our access to key technologies and IP related to systemic delivery of RNAi therapeutics.”

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