Alnylam, on the eve of trial with Tekmira in an appropriation of trade secrets suit, agreed to pay the latter $65 M now and up to $10 M next year to settle. That's a lot better than the $1 B that Tekmira was pursuing in its suit.
Alnylam paid $30 M to terminate a contract manufacturing agreement with Tekmira, and the additional $35 M to terminate previous license agreements to use Tekmira's lipid nanoparticle drug delivery technology. The additional $10M could come from milestones payments related to 3 Alnylam drugs in the clinic. Tekmira would get the money in 2013 and forgo potentially higher milestone and royalty payments in the future.
Alnylam will still have a license to use the Tekmira technology in conjunction with its own delivery systems to deliver RNAi drugs to the inside of cells. But, Alnylam will have to do its own manufacturing or find someone else who will. It won't be Tekmira or Alnylam's erstwhile partner Alcana Technologies. The latter is also being removed from the palying field in a settlement with Tekmira that will preclude Alcana from playing in RNAi for 5 years. Tekmira has alleged that Alcana was an "instrument of Alnylam."
Now Tekmira can pursue its clinical program with the extra $65 M. And Alnylam can pursue its three clinical candidates. And each can try to establish the real utlity of an RNAi drug in the clinic which heretofore has not happened. See Fierce Biotech and Xconomy.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Nov 13th 2012.