GSK and the RNAi-company Alnylam announced a new licensing deal where by GSK will use siRNAs from the latter to apply to its vaccine program. The Alnylam technology involved is termed VaxiRNA. The deal is initially focused on influenza vaccine production. Under terms of the agreement, GSK will provide research funding and certain milestone payments to Alnylam.
Alnylam’s VaxiRNA platform applies siRNAs for the silencing of specific genes that limit or prevent efficient growth of viruses in vaccine manufacturing systems, including those in cell culture. Alnylam says this new platform addresses the significant unmet commercial need for innovative technologies that can improve the manufacture of vaccine products, especially where vaccine production is a limiting factor for the scale and speed of global immunization needs.
The deal comes at a good time for Alnylam, which lost partnerships with Novartis and Roche earlier in the year, and is expected to report a loss of 35 cents per share for Qtr 3 in a late day earnings call. They could use the shot in the arm so to speak. See GEN and Xconomy.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Nov 1st 2011.