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Tekmira Sues Alnylam Pharmaceuticals For Repeated Misuse Of Trade Secrets And Confidential Information

Stocks in this article: TKMR

Complaint Also Alleges Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices, Unjust Enrichment, Unfair Competition and False Advertising about Tekmira's Proprietary Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP) Technology

Conference Call at 5:00 pm Eastern Time Today to Discuss Lawsuit

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq:TKMR) (TSX:TKM), a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, has filed a complaint against Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for misappropriation and misuse of trade secrets, know-how and other confidential information, unfair and deceptive trade practices, unjust enrichment, unfair competition and false advertising. The suit, filed in the Business Litigation Session (BLS) of the Massachusetts Superior Court, alleges Alnylam exploited its confidential relationship as a collaborator with Tekmira to engage in inappropriate and harmful conduct concerning Tekmira's proprietary lipid nanoparticle (LNP) siRNA delivery technology, resulting in damage to Tekmira's intellectual property and business interests.

A full copy of the legal complaint can be accessed through the company's website at www.tekmirapharm.com . In summary, the complaint states that Alnylam has harmed Tekmira and its shareholders by:

  • misappropriating confidential information, including trade secrets and other commercially valuable information from Tekmira;
  • disclosing Tekmira's step-by-step LNP formulation manufacturing instructions to at least one third-party collaborator;
  • incorporating Tekmira's confidential information into Alnylam's patent filings and claiming ownership in direct violation of a licensing agreement between the two companies;
  • willfully and knowingly misusing Tekmira's confidential information for Alnylam's own enrichment; and,
  • engaging in other unfairly competitive, deceptive and misleading actions in their public disclosures such as claiming Tekmira's technology as their own.

The damages that Tekmira will be seeking are substantial.  Among these damages, Tekmira believes it has rights to Alnylam's pipeline products.  These damages, including future milestones and royalties associated with these products alone could exceed one billion dollars. In addition, Tekmira will also seek the profits that Alnylam has unjustly received from collaborations based on the wrongful use of Tekmira's technology. All of this will be subject to what Tekmira learns in discovery in prosecuting this case, but even at this early stage, Tekmira believes that it is entitled to very significant damages by reason of Alnylam's illegal conduct as alleged in the complaint.

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