Alnylam Grants Ambion License to Fundamental RNAi Patents for Applications in the Research Products Market

Jun 08,2005

Alnylam Grants Ambion License to Fundamental RNAi Patents for Applications in the Research Products Market

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and AUSTIN, Texas, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that it has granted Ambion, Inc. a non-exclusive license to provide research products and services in RNA interference (RNAi) under the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family owned by Alnylam. This patent family covers short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and their use to mediate RNAi in mammalian cells.

"This agreement with Ambion reflects the value and strength of the intellectual property portfolio owned by Alnylam," said Vincent Miles, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Business Development of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. "With this agreement, Ambion, a recognized leader in the growing field of RNAi research products and services, becomes the fifth research products supplier, and the tenth company overall, to take a license for therapeutic or research product applications under fundamental intellectual property owned by Alnylam in the RNAi field."

"Ambion is committed to leadership in RNA-based life sciences research, particularly in RNAi," said Matt Winkler, CEO and CSO of Ambion. "Licensing the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family from Alnylam further enables Ambion to confidently provide the scientific research community with the tools it needs in this field."

On May 11, 2005, Alnylam announced that the European Patent Office granted a new patent that significantly extended the claims of the original Kreutzer-Limmer patent. These broad new claims cover compositions, uses, and methods for siRNAs, the molecules that mediate RNAi.

About RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNA interference, or RNAi, is a naturally occurring mechanism within cells for selectively silencing and regulating specific genes. Since many diseases are caused by the inappropriate activity of specific genes, the ability to silence and regulate such genes selectively through RNAi could provide a means to treat a wide range of human diseases. The discovery of RNAi has been heralded by many as a major breakthrough, and the journal Science named RNAi the top scientific achievement of 2002, as well as one of the top 10 scientific advances of 2003.

About Ambion
Ambion, Inc., is a leader in the development and supply of innovative RNA-based life science research and molecular diagnostic products and services. Ambion has taken a leadership role in developing products for handling, preserving, isolating, detecting and measuring RNA in areas such as molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, molecular diagnostics, drug discovery and genomics.

About Alnylam
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company seeking to develop and commercialize novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. Growing from its foundation as the world's first company focused on RNAi therapeutics, the company's leadership in the field of RNAi is supported by its preeminent founders and advisors and its strengths in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how that underlie the commercialization of RNAi therapeutics. Alnylam is developing a pipeline of RNAi products using Direct RNAi™ to treat ocular, central nervous system, and respiratory diseases and Systemic RNAi™ to treat a broad range of diseases, including oncology, metabolic, and autoimmune diseases. The company's global headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit

Alnylam Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning our future expectations, plans, prospects and future operating results 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, including risks related to: our approach to discover and develop novel drugs, which is unproven and may never lead to marketable products; our ability to obtain additional funding to support our business activities; our dependence on third parties for development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of our products; the successful development of products, all of which are in early stages of development; obtaining regulatory approval for products; competition from others using technology similar to ours and others developing products for similar uses; obtaining, maintaining and protecting intellectual property utilized by our products; and our short operating history; as well as those risks more fully discussed in the "Certain Factors That May Affect Future Results" section of our most recent Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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Ambion, Inc.
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