Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. And Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) Initiate Collaboration To Discover RNAi Therapeutic To Treat Cystic Fibrosis 
10/19/2005 5:13:01 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and BETHESDA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 16, 2005-- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT), the drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that they have initiated a collaborative program to discover Direct RNAi(TM) therapeutics for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF). Alnylam will apply RNAi technology toward the discovery of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), the molecules that induce RNA interference, to restore protein function in CF. CFFT is expected to provide Alnylam with $1.5 million in up front and milestone-driven funding for the discovery effort, along with introductions to world-class CF academic researchers and access to critical research resources. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to produce an abnormally thick, sticky mucus that obstructs the lungs, leading to life-threatening lung infections, and obstructs the pancreas, causing difficulty absorbing food. The median life expectancy has improved from early childhood to the mid-30s today, but many individuals battle lung disease for years.