Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) recently formed a strategic alliance to implement biological
technologies in the field of agriculture. As per the alliance,
Alnylam's broad RNAi-based (ribo nucleic acid interference)
intellectual property (IP) and proprietary technologies along with
Monsanto's new BioDirect technology will help deliver innovative
biological solutions to farmers.
As per the terms of the agreement, Monsanto, a leading global
provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products,
will acquire worldwide, exclusive rights to use Alnylam's
technologies in the field of agriculture. Monsanto will be able to
grant sub-licenses as well.
Alnylam will receive $29.2 million in upfront payments, along
with milestone payments and other additional funding from Monsanto.
The agreement also allows Alnylam to receive royalty payments on
the products that will utilize the company's platform technology
and IP. With this alliance, Monsanto becomes Alnylam's strategic
partner in agriculture for the next 10 years.
We are pleased to see Alnylam stepping beyond its primary focus
area. This will promote broader use of the company's technology.
Alnylam had earlier entered into key partnerships with companies
Biogen Idec Inc.
Roche Holding AG
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.
) to share its RNAi know-how.
The Monsanto alliance will fetch upfront, milestone payments and
other additional funding that will strengthen the company's cash
position. Alnylam exited the second quarter of 2012 with cash, cash
equivalents and total marketable securities of around $293
Besides these agreements, Alnylam makes use of its potentially
revolutionary RNAi technology for the treatment of a wide array of
diseases. The company expects to have five such RNAi therapeutic
programs in advanced clinical development by the end of 2015. We
expect investor focus to remain on the company's pipeline going
The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short
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