Sigma-Aldrich grants Pfizer license to use ddRNAi

Sigma-Aldrich has announced that it has granted Pfizer a worldwide non-exclusive research license to utilize DNA-directed RNAi (ddRNAi) technology. Applications of the ddRNAi technology for research activities have been licensed exclusively by Sigma- Aldrich from Benitec Limited of Australia.

This research license provides Pfizer with freedom to use ddRNAi in undertaking research activities throughout its global operations. Financial details were not disclosed.

Shaf Yousaf, President of the Sigma-Aldrich Research Biotechnology business unit, said, "ddRNAi has important research applications and future potential for therapeutic development. Following our research collaboration with The RNAi Consortium licenses to key RNAi intellectual property, Sigma- Aldrich has an intellectual property portfolio in RNAi that positions us well for a comprehensive out-licensing program as well as market leadership in RNAi research reagents."

The use of ddRNAi to develop therapeutics is recognized as having a number of critical advantages available over alternative RNAi and other gene silencing technologies. These include the wide range of technologies to deliver the ddRNAi molecules into the target cell; the critical ability to simultaneously disable multiple genes in order to attack mutating viral diseases and cancers; the ability to silence genes in whole organisms; and the ability to control the expression and timing of gene silencing, particularly important to the development of drugs for the pharmaceutical industry.

Sigma-Aldrich is the worldwide exclusive licensee in the human field of ddRNAi technology, excluding the development of ddRNAi as a human therapeutic, of patents owned or co-owned by Benitec and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia. With CSIRO, Benitec holds the only issued patents in the U.S. and UK covering RNAi in mammalian cells, currently seven issued patents in five jurisdictions, including the U.S., UK and Australia. Another 65 other RNAi-based patent applications are in advanced stages of prosecution in 14 other jurisdictions.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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