Protiva Biotherapeutics Inc. has reported that it has granted Merck & Co., Inc. a non-exclusive license to Protiva's SNALP (Stable Nucleic Acid-Lipid Particles) technology for ongoing research and development of therapeutics in the emerging field of RNA interference (RNAi).
Under the terms of the broader agreement Protiva will receive a one-time payment from Merck with the potential for milestone and royalty payments based upon the developmental progress of future RNAi-based product candidates.
In addition, Protiva has agreed to cease all litigation between Protiva and Sirna Therapeutics Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck, including the removal of a preliminary injunction granted by the Superior Court of California in March 2007. Financial details were not disclosed.
Protiva's President and CEO Dr. Mark Murray said, "Merck's licensing of our 'SNALP' technology is an important validation of the skill of our scientific team and our leadership position in the siRNA delivery space. Protiva is moving forward with financial strength and a continued focus on the development of new therapeutic products and business alliances."
"We are pleased to have licensed Protiva's SNALP technology," said Alan Sachs M.D. Ph.D., vice president of RNA Therapeutics for Merck. "This technology can now be used to advance Merck's RNAi-based therapeutic development programs."