Alnylam Strengthens Intellectual Property Estate through Acquisition of Nucleonics Patent Assets
Acquisition Expands Alnylam Intellectual Property Estate, Includes Several Early and Broad RNAi Patent Families
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 8, 2008 - Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that it has acquired the intellectual property (IP) assets of Nucleonics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company. The Nucleonics IP estate includes over 100 active patent filings, including 16 that have granted worldwide and 6 that have been granted in the U.S., Europe, or Japan – the world's largest pharmaceutical markets.
The Nucleonics IP estate includes certain early patents and patent applications, notably the “Li & Kirby,” “Pachuk I,” and “Giordano” patent families, that cover broad structural features of RNAi therapeutics and extend the breadth of Alnylam's “fundamental” IP, which is comprised of the Crooke, Fire & Mello, Kreutzer-Limmer, Glover, Tuschl I, Tuschl II, Hannon, and Kay patent families. With this acquisition, Alnylam has extended the scope of its overall IP estate for RNAi therapeutics, which now includes over 1,800 active cases. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed; however, this transaction does not change Alnylam's financial guidance of ending the year with greater than $500 million in cash.
“Nucleonics was one of the first companies in the RNAi therapeutics space focused primarily on gene therapy applications of RNAi. As they built their company, they acquired a number of early and broad patent families that are relevant for development and commercialization of all RNAi therapeutics, including synthetic small interfering RNAs, or ˜siRNAs,' the molecules that mediate RNAi, which remain Alnylam's sole focus,” said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam. “When added to our existing IP estate, which is already dominant in the field, the Nucleonics IP estate provides further strengthening of a portfolio that is buttressed across all possible dimensions. Importantly, Alnylam's IP estate is defined by a very large number of distinct patent elements that in aggregate define the overall strength of our exclusivity in the RNAi therapeutics field.”
“The Nucleonics IP portfolio we acquired today adds very significantly to our current IP estate for RNAi therapeutics,” said Donna Ward, Ph.D., Vice President, Intellectual Property at Alnylam. “In particular, we are extremely pleased to obtain early and broadly applicable RNAi IP assets, including the Li & Kirby, Pachuk I, and Giordano patent families, which have very early priority dates going back to 1998. Clearly, these new IP elements complement our existing fundamental IP, such as the Crooke, Tuschl II, and Kreutzer-Limmer patent families, as well as many others – all of which Alnylam holds exclusively.”
Amongst over 100 active patent filings, the Nucleonics IP estate includes several early filed patent applications, including:
Rodman & Renshaw, LLC advised Alnylam on this transaction.
About Alnylam Intellectual Property (IP)
Alnylam's IP estate includes issued, allowed, or granted fundamental patents in many of the world's major pharmaceutical markets that claim the broad structural and functional properties of RNAi therapeutic products. These include:
In addition to fundamental patents, Alnylam is the exclusive licensee in the field of RNAi therapeutics for more than 150 issued chemistry patents owned or controlled by Isis Pharmaceuticals broadly covering chemical modifications, including motifs and patterns of modifications of oligonucleotides, including RNAi therapeutics. These patents include:
In addition to fundamental and chemistry patents, Alnylam is also the exclusive licensee in the field of RNAi therapeutics for certain delivery patents, including those owned and controlled by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. covering delivery of oligonucleotides, including RNAi therapeutics, with liposomal formulations. These patents include:
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is applying its therapeutic expertise in RNAi to address significant medical needs, many of which cannot effectively be addressed with small molecules or antibodies, the current major classes of drugs. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world's top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics; its most advanced program is in Phase II human clinical trials for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In addition, the company is developing RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of a wide range of disease areas, including liver cancers, hypercholesterolemia, Huntington's disease, and TTR amyloidosis. The company's leadership position in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how relating to RNAi has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, and Kyowa Hakko. To reflect its outlook for key scientific, clinical, and business initiatives, Alnylam established “RNAi 2010” in January 2008 which includes the company's plan to significantly expand the scope of delivery solutions for RNAi therapeutics, have four or more programs in clinical development, and to form four or more new major business collaborations, all by the end of 2010. Alnylam is a joint owner of Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit http://www.alnylam.com.
Alnylam Forward-Looking Statement
Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam's future expectations, plans and prospects, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, various important factors, including the company's ability to successfully prosecute, maintain and enforce its patents, including the patents acquired from Nucleonics, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Alnylam's views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Alnylam does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
Contact: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Cynthia Clayton (Investors), 617-551-8207
Yates Public Relations
Kathryn Morris (Media), 845-635-9828
Posted: December 2008