Novartis and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have announced a multi-year alliance focused on the discovery of innovative therapeutics based on RNA interference.
The alliance will combine the research expertise and understanding of disease mechanism and pathway biology of Novartis with Alnylam's position in the field of RNAi.
By utilizing the RNAi mechanism, RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat human disease in a fundamentally way through the silencing of disease-causing genes.
During the term of the agreement, the collaboration will focus on the joint discovery of therapeutics using RNAi across multiple disease areas in the Novartis research portfolio.
"This collaboration underscores Novartis' commitment to forging strategic alliances with partners at the forefront of scientific discovery,” said Dr. Mark Fishman, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.
“RNAi holds great promise as a new therapeutic modality for treating many diseases. In particular, this exciting new area of biology has potential to target diseases that cannot be addressed by traditional approaches.”
“This collaboration complements our robust small molecule and antibody-based research programs and will advance our efforts to develop innovative medicines for patients."
Novartis and Alnylam will form a Scientific Strategy and Advisory Group to review the overall strategy for the relevant science and clinical applications of the collaboration.
"We believe that our technology is one of the most significant innovation-based drug discovery approaches available," said Dr. John M. Maraganore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
"Our collaboration will utilize significant resources and capabilities to place Novartis and Alnylam in a unique position to build RNAi therapeutics as a major class of drugs in the biopharmaceutical industry."
The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals, including antitrust review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.