GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. are forming an exclusive multi-year strategic alliance focused on discovery, development and commercialization of novel RNA interference based therapeutics for respiratory diseases.
The alliance combines Sirna's extensive expertise in short interfering RNA (siRNA) chemistry and biology with GSK's industry leading capabilities in the development and commercialization of novel therapies for respiratory diseases.
Sirna will receive an initial payment of $12 million, made up as cash and purchase of Sirna common stock, priced at $ 8.36 per share.
Under the agreement, Sirna may also receive milestone payments in excess of $700 million for collaboration and clinical development events, as well as royalties on worldwide sales of products which successfully result from the alliance. In addition, Sirna will be eligible to receive contract manufacturing revenues.
"By combining GSK's pulmonary drug delivery expertise with Sirna's advanced application of RNAi technology, this alliance will expedite the development of novel therapeutics with potential use in a number of respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD," said Dr. Garth Rapeport, Senior Vice President, Respiratory & Inflammation CEDD, at GSK.
"We recognise Sirna's leadership in the area of RNAi-based therapeutics and hope for the potential benefits this research will bring to patients."
Under the terms of the agreement, Sirna will provide GSK optimized and formulated siRNAs against Sirna and GSK targets. GSK will assume all responsibility for the further preclinical and clinical development of these compounds as well as worldwide commercialization of products resulting from the alliance.
"This collaboration is an extraordinary opportunity for us to work with GSK, the world's second largest pharmaceutical company, to develop important new medicines to treat patients with serious respiratory diseases," stated Howard W. Robin, President and CEO of Sirna Therapeutics.
"With this collaboration, Sirna continues to successfully execute our strategy to ally selected therapeutic programs or drug targets with pharmaceutical companies that lead the industry in their respective markets."