Alnylam Receives Grant of new Patent Broadly Covering RNAi Therapeutics
News Feb 11, 2009
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced the first grant for the Kay & McCaffrey patent. The patent is an early, “fundamental” patent in the RNAi therapeutics field based on the groundbreaking research by Drs. Anton McCaffrey and Mark Kay who were amongst the first to demonstrate the ability to harness RNA interference in a living mammal. The Kay & McCaffrey patent is licensed exclusively to Alnylam through an agreement with Stanford University.
The Kay & McCaffrey patent was granted after examination by the Australian Patent Office with 38 claims that broadly cover methods and compositions of RNAi therapeutics, including a method of reducing expression of a coding sequence in a target mammalian cell with a double-stranded RNA of between 15 and 25 nucleotides in length.
In addition, the patent includes claims covering small interfering RNAs and short hairpin RNAs. The Kay & McCaffrey patent series, with these and additional claim sets, is pending in other jurisdictions, including the U.S., EU, and Japan.
“We are delighted to add the Kay & McCaffrey patent to the broader portfolio of Alnylam held patents that comprise intellectual property (IP) which we believe is fundamental for the development and commercialization of all RNAi therapeutics,” said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
“This new grant, the first for the Kay & McCaffrey series, expands the scope of our fundamental IP estate that also includes issued or granted patents from the Crooke, Kreutzer-Limmer, and Tuschl II estates. Of course, we have a clear track record of leveraging our patent portfolio to enable the field and provide freedom to operate for RNAi therapeutics, as evidenced by more than 25 licensing agreements which have yielded over $660 million in realized cash funding. With this and the continued expansion of our IP estate, we expect our business development execution to only continue in the future.”