Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced that it has obtained rights to RNAi delivery technology developed in the laboratory of Professor Judy Lieberman from the CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate.
The in-licensed technology may enable small interfering RNAs - or siRNAs to be targeted with an engineered monoclonal antibody to tumors and other cell types, thereby broadening the scope of Alnylam's delivery technologies for RNAi therapeutics.
The in-licensed technology, which was highlighted in an article published in the journal Nature Biotechnology in 2005, represents another potential approach for delivery of RNAi therapeutics with systemic administration.
"Our work in the area of RNAi demonstrates that antibody fusion proteins could potentially mediate both systemic and cell-type-specific delivery of siRNAs," said Judy Lieberman, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator, CBR Institute for Biomedical Research and Professor of Pediatrics.
"I am very excited to be collaborating with the scientific team at Alnylam, who are leaders in the field of RNAi and in the translation of RNAi science into products."
"Dr. Lieberman is a world-leading academic researcher in the field of RNAi technology for potential therapeutic applications," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam.
"In-licensing this promising approach is part of our overall strategy to build the broadest platform of technology and intellectual property for the development of RNAi therapeutics."
"We believe our internal efforts, combined with access to technology from delivery-platform companies and premier academic labs such as Dr. Lieberman's, will continue to provide Alnylam with the leading capabilities in the field of RNAi."
In addition to this license agreement with CBR Institute, Alnylam recently entered into two relationships providing access to technologies for the systemic delivery of RNAi therapeutics.
The first agreement was with Inex Pharmaceuticals Corporation and provides access to fundamental liposome delivery technology and intellectual property for systemic RNAi therapeutics.
The second agreement was with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and provides access to novel liposome technology being developed in the laboratory of Professor Robert S. Langer.
Alnylam also recently announced the publication in Nature of the first demonstration of therapeutic gene silencing in non-human primates with systemic administration of siRNAs using liposomal delivery technology.