Collaboration brings next generation drugs

Wyeth and Santaris Pharma announce a new alliance to develop RNA-based medicines.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals , a division of Wyeth, and the Danish biotech company Santaris Pharma have announced that the companies have entered into a worldwide strategic alliance to discover, develop and commercialize new medicines based on Santaris Pharma’s proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid, LNA, drug platform. That allows specific targeting and regulation of microRNAs, known as miRNAs, and messenger RNAs, mRNAs, as a means to affect gene expression mediated by the targeted RNAs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Santaris Pharma will receive an upfront payment of USD 7 million in cash and Wyeth will make a USD 10 million equity investment in Santaris Pharma. Santaris Pharma may receive further milestone payments of up to USD 83 million for each of 10 potential targets. In addition, Santaris Pharma would receive royalties on the worldwide sales of all products arising from the alliance. The term of the research portion of the collaboration is three years. Wyeth has the right to extend the research portion up to two additional years.

Wyeth will select the RNA targets against which Santaris Pharma will use their proprietary LNA drug platform to generate unique drug candidates. Wyeth will be responsible for the development and commercialization of products arising from the alliance.

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