Alnylam, Tekmira shake hands at last in $75M deal

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ($ALNY) and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals ($TKMR) have shaken hands and settled litigation in a $75 million deal. The two companies have signed a restructured agreement that resolves all litigation and clarifies the intellectual property and licensing issues around Tekmira's lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology, by terminating all previous agreements and creating a new license agreement. These issues have been a source of--shall we say--some "tension" between the two companies.

In March 2011, Tekmira sued Alnylam over the LNP technology, claiming "inappropriate and harmful conduct" on Alnylam's part and contending that Alnylam incorporated confidential information into patent filings, seeking damages of $1 billion or more. In January 2012, Alnylam fought back by filing a suit in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, alleging that Tekmira infringed 6 patents when it signed a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY).

Under the terms of the new agreement, Alnylam will transfer all LNP technology patents and patent applications to Tekmira, which will be the only company able to sublicense LNP intellectual property in future platform-type relationships. Tekmira gets $65 million upfront associated with the termination of licensing agreements and modified licensing and royalty payment schedules. The company also gets $10 million in near-term milestone payments when ALN-TTR02 enters a pivotal trial and ALN-VSP starts clinical trials in China, both expected next year.

While this clearly isn't anywhere near the sought-for billion dollars, the $75 million will fund some of the company's development plans, as according to Xconomy the company was down to its last $6.9 million of cash. The news has triggered a 35% jump in Tekmira's share price, according to sister publication FierceBiotech.

- read the press release from Tekmira
- see the press release from Alnylam
- check out the article in Xconomy