Tekmira Announces $24.5M Licensing And Collaboration Agreement With Dicerna Pharmaceuticals
Published: Nov 17, 2014
November 17, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals , a developer of RNA interference therapeutics, announced today that it has entered a $24.5 million licensing and collaboration agreement with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that has its propriety lipid nanoparticle delivery technology for exclusive use to Dicerna’s primary hyperoxaluria type 1 development program.
"This new agreement validates our leadership position in RNAi delivery with LNP technology, and it underscores the significant value we can bring to partners who leverage our technology,” said Mark Murray, Tekmira's president and CEO. “Our LNP technology is enabling the most advanced applications of RNAi therapeutics in the clinic, and it continues to do so. We are excited to be working with Dicerna to be able to advance a needed therapeutic for the treatment of PH1.”
As a result of the agreement, Dicerna will pay Tekmira $2.5 million upfront and payments of $22 million in aggregate development milestones. The new partnership also comes with a supply agreement, and Tekmira will provide clinical drug supply and regulatory support in the advancement of certain product candidates.
“Dicerna is focused on realizing the full clinical potential of our proprietary pipeline of highly targeted RNAi therapies by applying proven technologies," said Douglas Fambrough, chief executive officer of Dicerna. "By drawing on Tekmira's extensive and deep experience with lipid nanoparticle delivery to the liver, the agreement will streamline the development path for DCR-PH1. We look forward to initiating Phase 1 trials of DCR-PH1 in 2015, aiming to fill a high unmet medical need for patients with PH1."
Dicerna will also use Tekmira’s third generation LNP technology for the delivery of DCR-PH1, a substrate RNA molecule, for the treatment of a rate, inherited liver disorder. This condition often results in kidney failure, and there are currently no approved therapies for the disease.
"As a core pillar of our business strategy, we continue to engage in partnerships where our technology improves the risk profile and accelerates the development programs of our collaborators and provides meaningful non-dilutive financing to TKMR," said Murray.
RNAi therapeutics have played a critical role in “silencing” disease-causing genes in patients. Tekmira’s LNP technology represents the most widely adopted delivery technology for the delivery of RNAi triggers. Tekmira and its collaborators are using the LNP platform in multiple clinical trials.