Japanese Patent Office grants Alnylam Pharmaceuticals' claims in second patent application for Tuschl II

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that the Japanese Patent Office has granted claims in a second patent application (JP Application Number 2006-317758) for the Tuschl II patent series, entitled "RNA Interference Mediating Small RNA Molecules." In May 2008, the Japanese Patent Office granted a related set of claims in the Tuschl II patent series (JP 4 095 895). The Tuschl II patent series provides broad exclusivity for small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), the molecules that mediate RNAi, in the world's top pharmaceutical markets, which include the U.S. (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,056,704 and 7,078,196), the European Union (EP 1407044), China (01820900.9), and Japan. The Tuschl II patent is exclusively licensed to Alnylam for RNAi therapeutics on a worldwide basis through an agreement with Max Planck Innovation GmbH, the licensing agent for the Max Planck Society.

“The successful worldwide examination of the Tuschl II patent series highlights that this invention is seminal for RNAi, demonstrating the importance of the work performed by Professor Tuschl and other co-inventors at the Max Planck Institute.”

"We are very pleased with the grant of this second Tuschl II patent application in Japan, which continues to further extend Alnylam's leadership on intellectual property for RNAi therapeutics," said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam. "The grant of this new patent broadens the scope of our fundamental patent and patent applications, including those related to the Crooke, Kreutzer-Limmer, Glover, Tuschl I, and Tuschl II patent series. Further, we continue to expect that several additional patents owned or licensed exclusively to Alnylam will be awarded, continuing to extend the breadth of our patent portfolio for all RNAi therapeutics."

"We are gratified that the Japanese Patent Office has decided to grant these new claims from Tuschl II," said Dr. Joern Erselius, Managing Director, Max Planck-Innovation GmbH. "The successful worldwide examination of the Tuschl II patent series highlights that this invention is seminal for RNAi, demonstrating the importance of the work performed by Professor Tuschl and other co-inventors at the Max Planck Institute."

The newly granted patent includes 38 claims broadly covering compositions, methods, uses, and systems for double-stranded RNAs having key structural elements that are widely recognized as important for the therapeutic activity of siRNAs, including:

  • a double-stranded region formed from two RNA strands with a length of 19-23 nucleotides;
  • at least one 3'-nucleotide overhang at the ends of the double-stranded molecule with a length of 1-3 nucleotides; and,
  • one strand of the RNA molecule consisting of a sequence with less than full complementarity to a target mRNA.

Alnylam's IP position is comprised of fundamental, chemistry, delivery, and target patents and patent applications that the company believes are necessary for the development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics. In aggregate, Alnylam owns or has in-licensed over 1,800 active patent cases, of which over 700 have issued or been granted worldwide, and over 300 have issued or been granted in the U.S., Europe, or Japan, the world's largest pharmaceutical markets.

Source Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

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