Alnylam and Sanofi close research phase of 2014’s $700m RNAi rare disease partnership

pharmafile | April 8, 2019 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Alnylam, Genzyme, Sanofi, pharma, rare disease 

Alnylam and Sanofi have announced their intention to bring to an end the research and option phase of a $700 million partnership originally launched in 2014 to develop RNAi therapeutics for rare conditions.

As part of the collaboration, Sanofi’s rare disease unit Genzyme snapped up the global rights to three Alnylam drugs: patisiran, vutrisiran and fitusiran. The unit had previously licensed the rights to patisiran in the treatment of hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (hATTR amyloidosis) in 2012. In January 2018, the partnership was tweaked, with Sanofi acquiring the license for fitusiran in haemophilia A and B and other bleeding conditions, handing back patisiran and vutrisiran to Alnylam in exchange for royalty payments on the drugs.

Beyond the change in January last year, this latest development means that neither partner will develop any further compounds except for an early-stage candidate as a treatment for an undisclosed genetic disorder; if it so chooses, Sanofi can take on further development and marketing duties, with Alnylam eligible for “double digit” royalty payments.

“Our landmark 2014 rare disease alliance with Sanofi resulted in the advancement of three Phase 3 programmes – patisiran, vutrisiran, and fitusiran – and the global launch of Onpattro, the world’s first RNAi therapeutic. We’re pleased to now conclude the research and product option phase of the collaboration, allowing Alnylam to focus on future continued growth of its rare disease pipeline,” commented Yvonne Greenstreet, Chief Operating Officer at Alnylam. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the success of this alliance over the last five years, advancing RNAi therapeutics to patients afflicted with rare diseases around the world, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Sanofi on our alliance programs.”

John Reed, Global Head of R&D at Sanofi, added: “Our alliance with Alnylam has successfully brought one important medicine to patients with ATTR amyloidosis and it also has spawned a molecule that is in pivotal clinical trials for people with haemophilia. As we wrap up this phase of our program with Alnylam, we remain committed to advancing therapies for patients with rare diseases and rare blood disorders.” #

Matt Fellows

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