Novartis extends $700M Alnylam pact

Novartis has extended its pact with Alnylam through October 2009. The deal, which is worth up to $700 million should the collaboration produce results, was first forged in 2005 and is focused on the development, and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics. As part of the extended alliance, Novartis will continue to fund Alnylam's research efforts. The company also retains rights to exercise a non-exclusive platform license from Alnylam in exchange for an undisclosed payment and future milestones and royalties. In addition, Novartis has the option to extend the collaboration for an additional one-year term through 2010. Finally, Novartis retains certain rights to purchase Alnylam equity up to 19.9 percent; current Novartis ownership is approximately 13.4 percent.

"Our efforts with Novartis have been very productive over the past three years, and we are delighted that Novartis has elected to extend our alliance for another year," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. Alnylam is one of the biggest names in the hot RNAi field.

- see the release on the deal