Alnylam and Tekmira Restructure Relationship and Settle All Litigation

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 12, 2012– Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY) announced today that they and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation have restructured their relationship with a new licensing agreement and have resolved all litigation between the parties in a settlement agreement. The new license agreement consolidates and clarifies certain intellectual property (IP) elements related to lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology for RNAi therapeutics. Further, Alnylam has elected to independently manufacture its LNP-based RNAi therapeutic products and to buy-down certain future potential milestone payments and a significant portion of future potential royalties for its ALN-VSP, ALN-PCS, and ALN-TTR02 programs. The settlement of all ongoing litigation between the two companies allows Alnylam to continue to focus its efforts on advancing innovative medicines to patients.

“With this restructuring of our Tekmira relationship, we are gaining independence in our LNP manufacturing and decreasing the milestone and royalty burdens on several of our LNP-based products. Further, the companies have created clarity around the overall patent estate for LNP-based products, while ensuring Alnylam’s full access to use this technology for our products in the future. Of course, we are also pleased to put this legal matter behind us and continue our focus on advancing RNAi therapeutics through clinical trials with the goal of bringing them to the market where we can make an impact in the lives of patients and their caregivers,” said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam. “Alnylam plans to continue to advance RNAi therapeutic products as part of its ‘Alnylam 5×15’ product strategy with LNP delivery technologies – as employed with ALN-TTR02, ALN-PCS, and ALN-VSP, in addition to the use of the company’s proprietary conjugate-based delivery technology – as employed with ALN-TTRsc, ALN-AT3, and other undisclosed programs.”

Under a new license agreement, Alnylam and Tekmira have agreed to consolidate certain IP elements related to LNP technology for the systemic delivery of RNAi therapeutic products. Specifically, certain patents and patent applications, including the MC3 lipid family, will be assigned by Alnylam to Tekmira. Alnylam retains full rights to use this IP for advancing RNAi therapeutic products to the market, including the rights to sublicense IP on a product-by-product basis. Alnylam has also agreed to grant five additional non-exclusive therapeutic licenses to Tekmira.

In addition, Alnylam has elected to buy out its manufacturing obligations to Tekmira with respect to its LNP-based pipeline programs. Alnylam will make a one-time payment of $30 million to Tekmira in order to have the rights to manufacture its own LNP-based products going forward, either itself or through a third-party contractor. Alnylam has established its own Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) capabilities and process for its LNP-based products. Alnylam will employ this manufacturing capability for the advancement of ALN-TTR02 into Phase III clinical trials, which the company expects to start by the end of 2013.

Further, Alnylam has elected to buy-down certain future potential milestone and royalty payments due to Tekmira for its ALN-VSP, ALN-PCS, and ALN-TTR02 LNP-based products. Specifically, Alnylam will make a one-time payment of $35 million to Tekmira in association with the termination of the prior license agreements between the companies and the significant reduction in milestone and royalty payments for its ALN-VSP, ALN-PCS, and ALN-TTR02 products. Tekmira will also be eligible to receive an additional $10 million in aggregate in contingent milestone payments related to advancement of ALN-VSP and ALN-TTR02 products, which now represent the only potential milestones for ALN-VSP, ALN-PCS and ALN-TTR02 products. Alnylam will otherwise continue to be obligated to pay Tekmira potential milestones and royalties on all other future LNP-based products on terms identical to its original license agreements. Tekmira will continue to be obligated to pay Alnylam potential milestones and royalties on certain RNAi therapeutic products developed under its licenses from Alnylam on terms identical to its original license agreements.

Finally, Alnylam and Tekmira have agreed to settle all ongoing litigation between the parties. The parties have also agreed to a resolution of the interference proceeding related to Alnylam-owned US Patent No. 7,718,629 directed to an siRNA component in ALN-VSP. In addition, Tekmira and AlCana Technologies, Inc. have agreed to drop their claims and counterclaims in both the Massachusetts and British Columbialawsuits. Finally, the parties have agreed to a covenant not to sue on matters related to the current dispute in the future, which includes liquidated damages to be paid if the covenant is breached, and have also agreed to resolve any future disputes that might arise over the next three years with binding arbitration.

Alnylam will incur a $65 million charge to operating expenses during the fourth quarter of 2012 related to the restructuring of its license agreements with Tekmira. As a result of the payments being made in connection with this restructuring, Alnylam is revising its financial guidance to end 2012 with greater than $215 million in cash.

Subscribe to get the latest news