Alnylam

Alnylam Licenses Intellectual Property from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


Jan 22,2004

Alnylam Licenses Intellectual Property from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Alnylam Licenses Intellectual Property from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 22, 2004 - Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the leading RNAi therapeutics company, today announced a licensing agreement with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for intellectual property related to the induction of gene silencing in mammalian cells through RNAi. The licensing of this intellectual property extends the leadership position Alnylam has built in the fundamental patents, technology, and know-how that underlie the discovery, development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics Under the terms of the agreement, Alnylam receives a non-exclusive license from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to therapeutic uses of patent applications and related technology stemming from RNAi research conducted by Dr. Gregory Hannon and colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This intellectual property encompasses certain aspects of gene silencing in mammalian cells by small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules, the natural mechanism that will be harnessed by RNAi therapeutics.
"This additional intellectual property from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory further strengthens our existing portfolio of fundamental patents in the field of RNAi," said Vincent Miles, Ph.D., senior vice president of business development at Alnylam. "Our current IP portfolio clearly positions Alnylam for leadership in the development of RNAi therapeutics."

About RNAi
RNA interference, or RNAi, is a naturally occurring mechanism within cells for selectively silencing specific genes, an ability that could become the basis for a whole new class of therapeutic products. 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 ten scientific advances of 2003. Because many diseases are caused by the inappropriate activity of specific genes, the ability to silence such genes selectively through RNAi could provide a means to treat a wide range of human diseases. The RNAi mechanism was recently discovered, in part, by the scientific founders of Alnylam, who showed that RNAi is mediated by a molecule known as a small interfering RNA, or siRNA, and that chemically-synthesized siRNAs made in the laboratory can be introduced into cells and silence the activity of specific genes. Alnylam is developing chemically-synthesized siRNAs as potential drugs for a variety of diseases.

About Alnylam
Alnylam, the leading RNAi therapeutics company, is harnessing the natural mechanism of RNAi to build a deep pipeline of products with the potential to treat a wide range of human diseases. Growing from its foundation as the world's first company focused on RNAi therapeutics, the company is built around the leading capabilities of its two operating units, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Ribopharma AG of Kulmbach, Germany. 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. The company's focus is to develop a pipeline of RNAi products using both Direct RNAiTM and Systemic RNAiTM approaches to treat a broad range of diseases, including central nervous system, metabolic,ocular, viral, oncologic, and autoimmune diseases. The company's global headquarters are in Cambridge, MA.