Tekmira Pharmaceuticals filed suit in Massachuesetts Superior Court seeking $1 billion in damages from its collaborator Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Among other things, Tekmira accuses Alnylam of misappropriation and misuse of trade secrets, know-how and other confidential information.
More specifically, Tekmira accuses Alnylam of replicating Tekmira's proprietary RNAi lipid nanoparticle delivery technology, filing patents based on this technology (effectively duplicating some Tekmira filings) and sharing confidential know-how about the technology with unauthorized third parties. Oops!
Tekmira says it is suing to regain control over its proprietary lipid nanoparticle technology to preseve its full value. It hopes that pursuing the case in Massachuesetts courts will speed a decision within about 12 months and reduce expenses associated with litigation.
Alnylam responds that Tekmira's claim is without merit. They also expressed disappointment that the disagreement couldn't be worked out directly, and that the resources of the two firms couldn't remain singly focused on establishing the value of RNAi therapeutics.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 17th 2011.