Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.
) recently earned development milestone payment of $3.2 million
). The payment was earned due to the progress on the use of their
VaxiRNA technology for producing Glaxo's influenza vaccines.
Alnylam has been a leader in the ribo nucleic acid interference
(RNAi) technology and its VaxiRNA platform uses the technology to
produce more vaccines.
Notably, in November last year, Alnylam and Glaxo entered into a
collaboration agreement, which permits Glaxo to use Alnylam's
VaxiRNA technology for producing vaccines. Glaxo, the leading
producer of vaccines, is first to utilize Alnylam's novel VaxiRNA
platform for vaccine production.
The collaboration agreement focused primarily on influenza
vaccine production in cell culture systems. Apart from the $3.2
million received as milestone payment, Alnylam is also eligible to
receive payments on the unit product sales of the vaccines from
We remind investors that the company has alliances with players
Biogen Idec Inc.
Roche Holdings Ltd.
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.
) for its expertise in RNAi therapeutics. Moreover, the company's
core product strategy, Alnylam 5x15, introduced in January 2011,
also aims to develop RNAi therapeutic products for the treatment of
genetically defined diseases addressing major unmet medical needs.
By adopting this strategy, the company aims to have five RNAi
therapeutic programs in advanced clinical development by 2015.
We are impressed by Alnylam's strategy of entering into
collaborations with big players in the market. We believe that
investor focus will remain on the company's pipeline going forward.
We are also impressed by the company's 5X15 initiative. We
currently have an Outperform recommendation on Alnylam. The stock
carries Zacks #1 Rank ('Strong Buy' rating) in the short run.
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