Wyeth and Santaris Pharma Announce Strategic Alliance to Develop RNA-based Medicines
News Jan 13, 2009
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, and Santaris Pharma have announced that the companies have entered into a worldwide strategic alliance to discover, develop and commercialize new medicines based on Santaris Pharma’s proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) drug platform, which allows specific targeting and regulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) as a means to affect gene expression mediated by the targeted RNAs.
Under the terms of the agreement, Santaris Pharma will receive an upfront payment of $7 million in cash and Wyeth will make a $10 million equity investment in Santaris Pharma. Santaris Pharma may receive further milestone payments of up to $83 million for each of 10 potential targets.
In addition, Santaris Pharma would receive royalties on the worldwide sales of all products arising from the alliance. The term of the research portion of the collaboration is three years. Wyeth has the right to extend the research portion up to two additional years.
Wyeth will select the RNA targets against which Santaris Pharma will use their proprietary LNA drug platform to generate drug candidates. Wyeth will be responsible for the development and commercialization of products arising from the alliance.
“With this alliance Wyeth explores a fourth platform technology targeting RNAs, which complements our expertise in small molecules, vaccines and protein-based therapeutics,” says Mikael Dolsten, President, Wyeth Research. “This will increase our ability to develop and bring to market innovative, high-value medicines that have the potential to address significant unmet needs in critical therapeutic areas.”
”We are delighted to welcome Wyeth as a new major partner,” says Soren Tulstrup, President and CEO of Santaris Pharma. “This strategic alliance further consolidates Santaris Pharma’s leading position in the rapidly evolving RNA-based therapeutic field. The scope of this collaboration demonstrates the utility of Santaris Pharma’s proprietary LNA Drug Platform for developing new therapies targeting RNAs.”