Inex Pharmaceuticals Corporation has announced that it has signed an exclusive research collaboration agreement with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to evaluate Alnylam's RNAi therapeutics with Inex's systemic liposomal delivery technology.
The work with Alnylam on the encapsulation and delivery of RNAi therapeutics builds on Inex's expertise in the delivery of oligonucleotides under its Targeted Immunotherapy platform.
The collaboration will evaluate multiple targets including apolipoprotein B (apoB), a protein involved in cholesterol metabolism.
The Inex and Alnylam agreement will build on preliminary data published by Alnylam and its collaborators in Nature showing that the systemic delivery of an apoB RNAi therapeutic significantly reduced blood cholesterol levels.
Under the terms of the agreement, Alnylam has the option to execute a global exclusive license for specific RNAi therapeutic targets.
The license agreement would include upfront license fees, future milestone payments and royalties as the products are commercialized. Alnylam also has the right to expand the option to negotiate license terms for additional targets.
The exercise of the license option is dependent on the completion of the research collaboration and the completion of Inex's spin-out of its Targeted Immunotherapy technology into Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
Tekmira would provide the required personnel and funding to support the research collaboration and license agreement.
Timothy M. Ruane, President and Chief Executive Officer of INEX, said that combining Inex's expertise in the systemic delivery of oligonucleotides with Alnylam's leading position in RNAi therapeutics is a perfect fit.
"We look forward to building on Alnylam's promising data published in Nature and finalizing the spin-out of Tekmira to advance this collaboration to a full license agreement."
John Maraganore, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, said, "We are enthusiastic about the collaboration with Inex as brings together two companies with leadership positions in their respective fields. We look forward to working with Inex to advance the development of novel systemic RNAi therapeutics."