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Alnylam Grants Dharmacon License to Kreutzer-Limmer RNAi Patents

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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dharmacon, Inc., a business unit of the Fisher Biosciences group have announced that Alnylam has granted Dharmacon a non-exclusive license to provide RNAi research products and services under the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family.

This patent family, owned solely by Alnylam, covers small interfering RNAs and their use to mediate RNAi in mammalian cells.

"We are delighted that Dharmacon, one of the world's leading suppliers of siRNA reagents, has taken a license to the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family, which is seen as a critical component of fundamental intellectual property in the field of RNAi," said Vincent Miles, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Business Development of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

"This new agreement with Dharmacon further underscores the value of Alnylam's intellectual property for commercialization of RNAi products."

"Importantly, we believe that the majority of all sales in the RNAi research products marketplace are now being made under licenses to the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family."

William S. Marshall, Ph.D., Vice President of Technology and Business Development for Fisher Biosciences said, "Taking a license to the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family strengthens our ability to provide innovative siRNA technologies to life science and drug discovery researchers around the globe."

"This license expands our already extensive portfolio of internally developed and in-licensed RNAi intellectual property and enables Dharmacon to focus on our mission of advancing science and medicine through innovative RNA technologies."

Alnylam's intellectual property estate includes certain "fundamental" patents and patent applications that claim broad structural and functional properties of synthetic RNAi products.

This fundamental intellectual property includes the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family that was obtained through the July 2003 acquisition of Ribopharma AG, now Alnylam Europe AG.

The Kreutzer-Limmer family includes: EP Patent No. 1144623, covering siRNAs up to 25 nucleotides in length having a sequence complementary to a target gene; and EP Patent No. 1214945, covering compositions, methods, and uses of siRNAs with a length between 15 and 49 nucleotides.

Patents corresponding to these European patents have been issued or are pending in many other countries.

Dharmacon is one of 10 research products suppliers, and 17 companies overall, to take a license for therapeutic or research product applications under fundamental intellectual property owned or controlled by Alnylam in the field of RNAi.