Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Novartis are extending their RNAi therapeutics collaboration for an additional year, through to October 2009. The alliance begain in October 2005 and is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics toward a defined number of Novartis-selected disease gene targets.
In the Novartis-Alnylam collaboration, both companies are responsible for RNAi discovery activities. Novartis is generally responsible for development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutic products. With the extension of the alliance term, Novartis will continue to fund R&D efforts conducted by Alnylam.
Novartis retains its right to exercise a nonexclusive platform license from Alnylam in exchange for an undisclosed payment and future milestones and royalties. In addition, Novartis has the option to extend the collaboration for one more year through to 2010. Finally, Novartis retains certain rights to purchase Alnylam equity up to 19.9%; current Novartis ownership is approximately 13.4%.