Isis Pharmaceuticals reported the receipt of $7.5 million from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals as part of the $700 million alliance between Genzyme and Alnylam reported yesterday. That $7.5 million could be just the tip of the iceberg as Isis also has the potential to receive royalties on products and a portion of future milestone payments.

Alnylam and Isis started collaborating 10 years ago, in 2004. In their collaboration and license agreement, which was extended in 2009, Isis granted Alnylam licenses to its current and future patents and patent applications relating to oligonucleotide chemistry and to RNA-targeting mechanisms for the research, development, and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics.

“Our innovation in RNA-based drug discovery has enabled us to create a broad and extensive patent position that covers many key discoveries for the RNA therapeutic space. The breadth and depth of our patent estate has allowed us to create a number of relationships, such as the one we have with Alnylam, that enhance our leadership in the field. Our technology supports RNA-based drug discovery efforts for us and our partners and allows our partners access to our technology. To date we have generated well over $400 million from the sales and licensing of our intellectual property, including more than $50 million from Alnylam’s collaborations,” said B. Lynne Parshall, CEO at Isis.

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