Alnylam will use Arrowhead’s delivery technology, and Arrowhead will develop an RNAi drug for HBV.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Arrowhead Research entered into a collaboration and joint licensing agreement. Alnylam has granted Arrowhead a license that enables the discovery, development, and commercialization of an RNAi therapeutic targeting HBV. In addition, Alnylam has received a license from Arrowhead to utilize its Dynamic Polyconjugate (DPC) delivery technology for an RNAi therapeutic product.

Each company will receive milestone payments from the other firm as candidates progress as well as royalties on sales of products resulting from the license. “We view Arrowhead’s DPC technology as a promising emerging delivery approach, with the potential to complement our existing delivery platform, which currently includes lipid nanoparticles and our siRNA conjugate platform,” says Laurence Reid, Ph.D., svp and CBO of Alnylam.

“In addition, by granting Arrowhead a license for their HBV program, we are enabling their efforts with access to Alnylam intellectual property, which we believe is critical for the development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics.”

The DPC (dynamic polyconjugate) technology is a systemic siRNA delivery platform that enables polymer-based formulation chemistry to efficiently target gene silencing complexes to specific cells. As the DPCs attach to and enter the target cells, they respond to the environmental cues provided by the cell to disassemble and release the active siRNA molecule. This unique chemistry mimics the natural viral targeting and disassembly process.

Alnylam will use the DPC platform in its “Alnylam 5×15” pipeline, which is focused on genetically defined targets and diseases. Under this strategy the company expects to have five RNAi therapeutic programs in advanced clinical development by the end of 2015. These include ALN-TTR for transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis, ALN-PCS for severe hypercholesterolemia, ALN-HPN for refractory anemia, ALN-APC for hemophilia, and one additional program from the company’s ongoing discovery efforts.

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