GlaxoSmithKline and Sirna
Deal type: Discovery, development, and commercialization
Summary: In April 2006, GSK and Sirna formed an exclusive multiyear strategic alliance for discovery, development, and commercialization of RNAi-based treatments for respiratory diseases. Sirna will receive $12M upfront (cash and equity) and milestone payments up to more than $700M. Sirna is also entitled to receive contract manufacturing revenues and royalties on worldwide product sales. In early June 2006, GSK and Sirna announced that they had initiated programs to develop therapies for other indications.
• Sirna will provide GSK optimized and formulated siRNAs (short-interfering RNAs) against Sirna and GSK targets.
• GSK will assume all responsibility for further preclinical and clinical development of these compounds as well as worldwide commercialization of products resulting from the alliance.
• The deal is exclusive as to respiratory diseases.
Analysis: Unlike the 2005 Novartis-Alnylam deal, which also involved RNAi technology, this deal imposes no restrictions on Sirna partnering with other companies to apply its technology in diseases other than respiratory diseases. Sirna’s objective is to form similar partnerships with other large pharmaceutical firms in other diseases.
To date, Sirna is developing RNAi-based treatments for age-related macular degeneration, hepatitis B and C, diabetes, HIV, avian flu, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases, cancer, and baldness.