Sigma-Aldrich Licenses Fundamental RNAi Patent Estate from Alnylam

Jul 19,2005

Sigma-Aldrich Licenses Fundamental RNAi Patent Estate from Alnylam

ST. LOUIS, Mo., and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 19, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (Nasdaq: SIAL), a leading supplier of biochemical reagents and kits used in life science research, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that Alnylam has granted Sigma-Aldrich a non-exclusive license to provide research products and services in RNA interference (RNAi) under the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family. This patent family, owned by Alnylam, covers short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and their use to mediate RNAi in mammalian cells.

"The Kreutzer-Limmer patent family is an integral component of Alnylam's strategy to build value today through its leading IP portfolio in the field of RNAi," said Vincent Miles, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Business Development of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. "There can be few better-known names than Sigma in the world of life-science research suppliers, and we are delighted to have them become the seventh such supplier, and twelfth company overall, to have taken a license to Alnylam's Kreutzer-Limmer patent family."

"Sigma is a global provider of products for functional genomics and gene silencing," said Keith Jolliff, Ph.D., Strategic Marketing Manager for Sigma. "This license agreement with Alnylam further strengthens Sigma's position as a key licensed supplier of siRNAs to the scientific community."

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 Sigma-Aldrich
Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical and other high technology manufacturing. The company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use their products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 35 countries and has over 6,800 employees providing excellent service worldwide and is committed to accelerating Customers' success through leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at .

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

Sigma-Aldrich Forward-Looking Statement
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future performance, goals, strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Company's expectations, goals, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding Company operations and conditions in the markets the Company serves. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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: Sigma-Aldrich Corporation,

Lilian Stern,
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.
1+212-362-1200, or
Keith Jolliff,
Sigma-Aldrich Inquiries,
+1-314-289-8484, or
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