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Biogen and Alnylam Announces Collaboration

Biogen and Alnylam Announces Collaboration

Biogen and Alnylam Announces Collaboration

Biogen and Alnylam Announces Collaboration

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Biogen Idec and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have announced a collaboration to discover and develop RNAi therapeutics for the potential treatment of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Alnylam and Biogen Idec will initially conduct investigative research into the potential of using RNAi technology to develop therapeutics to treat PML.

Under terms of the collaboration, Biogen Idec will fund all research and development activities and Alnylam will receive an upfront payment of $5 million.

In addition to this payment, assuming development and utilization of any product resulting from the collaboration, Alnylam would receive $51 million in milestone payments, and substantial undisclosed royalties and utilization fees.

"This innovative collaboration to explore using RNAi technology to develop therapeutics for the treatment of PML will build on our work to understand and manage this disease," said Al Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Neurology for Biogen Idec.

"We are pleased to partner with Alnylam, a company that has demonstrated leading capabilities in the discovery and development of RNAi therapeutics, in this important undertaking."

"We believe this alliance demonstrates the power of RNAi as a drug discovery platform for new therapies that address life-threatening diseases, including those caused by viruses where there are no current treatments available," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam.

"We are excited about working with the team at Biogen Idec, and applying our scientific expertise and leading capabilities in developing novel RNAi therapeutics for this important medical need."

"This new alliance marks the industry's first RNAi therapeutic alliance with a top-tier biotechnology company and the sixth major partnership we have formed to date."

With RNAi technology, small interfering RNAs or siRNAs, the molecules that mediate RNAi, can be designed and optimized toward conserved regions of a viral genome to harness the cell's own capabilities to achieve an anti-viral therapeutic effect.