Alnylam Pharmaceuticals announces EPO intent to grant notification for patent series covering RNAi therapeutics

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a notification of an intent to grant for the "Manoharan II" patent series (EP Application No 04 718 537), titled "Therapeutic Compositions." The new patent includes 16 claims covering compositions and methods, including pharmaceutical compositions, for chemically modified siRNAs containing phosphorothioate and 2′-O-alkyl modifications without any siRNA length restrictions. These chemical modifications are broadly used to achieve potency, stability, and selectivity of siRNAs; features that are needed to design siRNAs with "drug-like" properties for therapeutic applications.

“We are pleased with the decision by the EPO to grant the new claims from this patent, an early filed patent in the RNAi intellectual property landscape that we believe covers several chemical design features important for the development of RNAi therapeutics”

"We are pleased with the decision by the EPO to grant the new claims from this patent, an early filed patent in the RNAi intellectual property landscape that we believe covers several chemical design features important for the development of RNAi therapeutics," said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. "This grant marks the 17th new patent that we've received this year alone, putting us well on track to meet our goal of greater than 30 new patents in 2010. The allowance of the Manoharan II patent continues to significantly broaden the scope of our intellectual property portfolio, which we believe is required for the development and commercialization of all RNAi therapeutics."

The claims for the newly allowed patent include those covering an siRNA of any length with:

  • a sense strand having at least one 2′-O-alkyl modification within a 6 nucleotide region of at least one of the ends of the strand;
  • an antisense strand with at least one phosphorothioate linkage; and,
  • an asymmetrical chemical modification design, where the modification in the sense strand cannot be used in the antisense strand.

Alnylam's IP position is comprised of fundamental, chemistry, and target IP that the company believes is 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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