Genzyme, a Sanofi company (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) announced today that they have significantly expanded their strategic agreement to develop and commercialize treatments for rare genetic diseases. Genzyme will have significant rights to Alnylam’s portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical stage drug candidates. Alnylam will retain most product rights in North America and Western Europe, and will have significantly expanded development and commercial opportunities for its genetic medicine pipeline through Genzyme’s established global infrastructure in rare diseases.
“This collaboration is an important building block for our future. It strengthens our pipeline and provides us with the opportunity to meet the needs of patients with rare diseases around the world through our well-established global organization,” said David Meeker, MD, Genzyme’s President and CEO. “This transaction also powerfully underscores Sanofi’s commitment to investing in Genzyme as one of the company’s key growth drivers. Our partnership with Alnylam has been highly collaborative, and their world-class RNAi technology holds the promise to provide a platform for sustained drug development for rare genetic diseases for years to come.”
“ This new relationship with Genzyme is transformational for Alnylam. It is a game changer for both the advancement of RNAi therapeutics as a new class of genetic medicines to patients around the world, and for our commitment to build a leading, independent biopharmaceutical company that delivers value to our shareholders,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. “ In this new alliance, Alnylam benefits enormously from Genzyme’s proven global capabilities, enabling us to accelerate and expand market access for our ‘Alnylam 5x15’ products.”
In 2012, Alnylam and Genzyme formed an exclusive alliance to develop and commercialize Alnylam’s lead product, patisiran, which is in Phase 3 development for the treatment of transthyretin (TTR)-familial amyloid polyneuropathy, a rare life-threatening disease that damages the nervous system.