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Alnylam-MDCO Join for ALN-PCS

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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALNY) recently entered into an exclusive global alliance with The Medicines Company (MDCO) for the development and commercialization of the prior’s ALN-PCS ribo nucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutic program.

Currently under development for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, ALN-PCS RNAi is an important program in Alnylam’s “Alnylam 5x15” strategy.

As per the terms of the collaboration agreement, The Medicines Company will be making an upfront cash payment of $25 million to Alnylam. Alnylam is also eligible to receive up to $180 million on the achievement of development and commercial milestones. The company could also receive scaled double-digit royalties from The Medicines Company on global products sales of the ALN-PCS products commercialized under this agreement.

The collaboration includes ALN-PCS02 and ALN-PCSsc. ALN-PCS02 is an intravenous RNAi therapeutic which completed a phase I trial, whereas ALN-PCSsc, a subcutaneously administered RNAi therapeutic, is currently in pre-clinical development.

Meanwhile, Alnylam is expected to continue with its ALN-PCS program for another one to two years to complete certain pre-clinical and phase I studies. The Medicines Company will be responsible for the development of the candidates from phase II onwards. The Medicines Company will also be responsible for the commercialization of the candidates if the ALN-PCS program is successful.

Earlier this year, Alnylam had provided a brief update on its key “Alnylam 5x15” pipeline, which aims to develop RNAi therapeutic candidates and partner programs for the next couple of years. The company is expecting several study results based on its RNAi therapeutic candidates in the next two years.

We believe that the company is progressing well with its “Alnylam 5x15” pipeline. We expect investor focus to stay on the successful development of the pipeline, though most of them are in early stages of development.

Alnylam carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, other biopharmaceutical stocks such as Targacept Inc. (TRGT) and Medivation Inc. (MDVN) carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) respectively.

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