Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Aug 6, 2008

Alnylam to Receive $7.5M More under NIAID Contract for RNAi Drugs against Hemorrhagic Fever

  • The NIAID is committing to $7.5 million in additional funding for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. The existing contract with the company is focused on the development of a broad-spectrum RNAi antiviral against hemorrhagic fever virus including Ebola.

    Alnylam was initially commissioned  in September 2006. The institute agreed to pay up to $23 million over a four-year period. To date, it has committed up to $14.2 million, according to Alnylam. The NIAID will now provide $7.5 million more than was originally agreed upon for the third year of this contract.

    “To date, we have been granted more than $63 million in federal contracts for Alnylam Biodefense,” points out Barry Greene, president and COO. About a year ago, the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency signed on Alnylam for $38.6 million.

    Alnylam presented preclinical data from this program utilizing an optimized RNAi therapeutic formulated in a lipid particle for systemic delivery. The data showed that potent siRNAs with in vitro antiviral activity were identified against all genes in the Ebola genome, according to Alnylam.

    A greater than 95% decrease in viral titer was seen when an RNAi therapeutic targeting one of these genes, VP35, was administered to mice infected with Ebola. Moreover, the VP35 siRNA as compared with a control nonspecific siRNA protected both mice and guinea pigs from lethal Ebola infection. This work was done in collaboration with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals using their lipid particle delivery formulation technology.

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Drug Price Hikes

Novum Pharma recently raised the price of an acne cream by over 3,900% in less than a year-and-a-half and Mylan increased price of EpiPen from $100 to $608 . Do you think pharmaceutical companies need to be subjected to price controls?

More »