Alnylam to defend against Tekmira complaint

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, is reporting the filing of a complaint by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation in the Business Litigation Session (BLS) of the Massachusetts Superior Court. The complaint alleges misappropriation and misuse of information, amongst other allegations. Alnylam has had a longstanding relationship and business partnership with Tekmira dating back to at least 2006, which includes significant past and ongoing funding of Tekmira as well as a significant equity position held by Alnylam in Tekmira. Alnylam received no prior notification of this complaint or dispute.

“a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so”

"We firmly believe that the complaint filed by Tekmira is without merit or foundation, and we intend to fully defend ourselves in this matter," said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam. "Given the longstanding supportive and fully collaborative relationship we have had with Tekmira, it is surprising and extremely unfortunate that they have chosen to voice concerns through unexpected litigation rather than constructive business dialog, and to shift resources away from the scientific and clinical advancement of RNAi therapeutics, which should be the sole focus at this time."

As part of the communication to Alnylam regarding the filed complaint, Tekmira has stated that it will meet its contractual obligations related to the manufacturing of certain Alnylam development-stage and clinical pipeline products. Alnylam is maintaining its guidance regarding the company's pipeline, partnership, and cash goals.

Since 2007, Alnylam has provided over $45 million in funding, including equity purchases, to Tekmira and provided approximately $6 million in manufacturing-related funding in 2010 with similar levels expected in 2011. In exchange, Alnylam has obtained broad license rights to Tekmira intellectual property in addition to exclusive rights, with the sole right to sublicense, to many patents and patent applications including the so-called "Semple" and "Wheeler" patent families (Semple U.S. Patent No. 6,858,225, and Wheeler U.S. Patent Nos. 5,976,567 and 6,815,432). In addition, Alnylam maintains exclusive research and discovery collaborations on novel lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations through agreements with AlCana Technologies, Inc., The University of British Columbia, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


 Alnylam Pharmaceuticals


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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