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Archemix and Dicerna to Collaborate on Conjugated Aptamer-Dicer Substrate RNAi Therapeutics

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Archemix Corp. and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc., have announced that the two companies have entered into an agreement to collaborate on aptamer-DsiRNA therapeutics that leverage both the intracellular delivery capabilities of Archemix’s aptamers, and the potent gene silencing of Dicerna’s DsiRNA molecules.

Both companies are making an investment of resources to develop the aptamer-DsiRNA therapeutics, and will work collaboratively on the R&D activities. The agreement includes an option for Dicerna to obtain exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize aptamer-DsiRNA therapeutics generated during the collaboration. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“This collaboration showcases how our proprietary aptamer technology can be used in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities and we look forward to beginning this exciting work with Dicerna,” said Kenneth M. Bate, president and chief executive officer of Archemix. “While Archemix remains dedicated to continuing the development of therapeutic aptamers we believe that our proprietary aptamer technology is broadly applicable outside of our core strategic focus. This agreement leverages our aptamer expertise and intellectual property estate with Dicerna’s expertise in RNAi therapeutics to develop a technology with the potential to mediate targeted delivery, intracellular uptake and gene silencing.”

“With our second generation Dicer Substrate Technology, we have demonstrated superior potency and extended duration of action,” said James C. Jenson, Ph.D., chief executive officer and co-founder of Dicerna. “Now, through this agreement with Archemix, we aim to explore these therapeutic advantages against certain important cellular targets. This collaboration points to the unique adaptability of Dicerna’s DsiRNA molecules to a number of targeting and delivery approaches, including aptamers, to facilitate tissue- and cell-specific delivery, which we believe to be an important benefit for RNAi therapeutics.”

“This partnership allows us to explore the potential for targeted delivery of a DsiRNA payload, with its catalytic gene silencing activity, by using Archemix’s novel aptamers,” added Martin D. Williams, chief business officer of Dicerna. “We look forward to exploring and identifying a number of therapeutic programs best pursued by combining our Dicer Substrate Technology and intellectual property portfolio with Archemix’s aptamer expertise.”