Agreement calls for $82.5 million in milestones.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals will initially pay Alnylam Pharmaceuticals $20 million for rights to its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) program. Alnylam is eligible to receive payments based on success of development and reaching certain sales levels that could total $82.5 million.

The RSV-specific RNAi therapeutic program includes ALN-RSV01, which is currently in Phase II development in adult lung-transplant patients, and other second-generation RNAi-based RSV inhibitors in preclinical studies.

The collaboration is structured as a 50/50 co-development and profit-sharing arrangement in North America and a milestone- and royalty-bearing license arrangement in the rest of the world outside of Asia. The ALN-RSV is partnered with Kyowa Hakko Kirin in Asia. In January 2008, Kyowa Hakko Kirin bought the rights for $15 million upfront and $78 million in milestones.

Alnylam will get double-digit royalties on net sales outside of North America and Asia. After achieving certain development milestones, it could convert the North American co-development and profit share to a royalty-bearing license with development and sales milestones. Cubist will have sole rights for commercialization of the ALN-RSV program worldwide outside of Asia, subject to certain conditions.

“Partnering this program brings additional critical mass to the advancement of ALN-RSV01 and/or second-generation RSV-specific RNAi therapeutics in our broader program, which we aim to advance through ongoing preclinical studies toward potential clinical studies as early as 2010,” says John Maraganore, Ph.D., CEO of Alnylam.


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