05-08-2004: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Hybridon, Inc. ( announced that they have entered into an agreement providing Alnylam with an exclusive license to Hybridon's rights to target Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) for ocular indications with RNA interference molecules (RNAi).
Hybridon has a series of patents and patent applications relating to the therapeutic use of oligonucleotides, including antisense and RNA interference compounds, which inhibit the production of the protein VEGF. The VEGF protein has been implicated in cancer and macular degeneration. Hybridon received an upfront payment and is eligible for future milestone payments and royalties.
The licensing of this intellectual property extends Alnylam's strength in consolidating fundamental patents, technology and know-how for the development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics. At the same time, it continues to leverage Hybridon's broad patent estate in the oligonucleotide field by adding another partner with complementary technology to the growing list of collaborators and licensees.
"This additional intellectual property will accelerate and streamline our lead program, which we are pursuing in partnership with Merck, to develop a novel RNAi therapeutic targeted to treat age-related macular degeneration and other ocular diseases," said Vincent Miles, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Alnylam. "Adding this suite of patent rights to our current IP portfolio advances our leadership in the development of RNAi ocular therapeutics."
"We are pleased to enter into this licensing arrangement with Alnylam, to expand the use of our patent portfolio with one of the leaders in RNAi therapeutics" said Sudhir Agrawal, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Hybridon. "We view this license as additional validation of the broad coverage of our oligonucleotide patent portfolio and its applicability to the rapidly growing field of RNA interference. Independently, Hybridon continues to pursue the studies of antisense-based compounds targeting VEGF for ocular diseases."
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