Table 2. Recent deals. Deals between Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Biogen Idec Inc., and Moderna Therapeutics Inc. and AstraZeneca plc, highlight increasing investments in oligonucleotide-based therapeutics.



Deal description

Financial terms


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.

GlaxoSmithKline plc

Collaboration on RNAi technology called
VaxiRNA to speed vaccine production


Nov. 2011


Sylentis S.A.

Nonexclusive license for the discovery, development
and commercialization of small interfering RNA therapeutic in glaucoma


Nov. 2011


Arrowhead Research Corp.

License to discover, develop and commercialize
an RNAi therapeutic targeting HBV. Alnylam received rights to Arrowhead's Dynamic polyconjugate delivery technology


Jan. 2012


Ascletis Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.

Exclusive rights to develop and commercialize ALN-VSP for liver cancer in China


July 2012


Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON)

Worldwide exclusive rights to Alnylam's platform technology and IP in agriculture

$29.2 million upfront and milestones

Aug. 2012


Genzyme Corp. unit of Sanofi (Euronext:SAN; NYSE:SNY)

Licensed rights to transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR) program in Asia

$22.5 million upfront and milestones

Oct. 2012


The Medicines Co.

Exclusive global alliance for the development and
commercialization of ALN-PCS for hypercholesterolemia

$25 million upfront and up to $180 million in milestones

Feb. 2013

Arrowhead Research

Axolabs GmbH

Strategic alliance


March 2012

Benitec Biopharma Ltd.

Calimmune Inc.

Nonexclusive worldwide license for the use of DNA-directed RNAi (ddRNAi) platform for up to three targets in HIV/AIDS


March 2012


Genable Technologies Ltd.

Worldwide license for use of ddRNAi platform for retinitis pigmentosa


July 2012


Tacere Therapeutics Inc.


More than 102 million new shares issued (~$1.5 million) plus future royalties and licensing revenues

Oct. 2012


Regen BioPharma Inc.
subsidiary of Bio-Matrix Scientific Group Inc. (OTCBB:BMSN)

License agreement for use of ddRNAi platform to block immunosuppression in cancer


Aug. 2013

Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS)

Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB)

Alliance to advance antisense therapeutics for neurological disease

$100 million upfront plus milestone payments up to $220 million

Sept. 2013


AstraZeneca (LSE:AZN; NYSE:AZN)

Alliance to discover and develop antisense therapeutics against five targets in cancer

$31 million upfront, near-term payments of another $31 million and milestones

Dec. 2012

Marina Biotech Inc.

Mirna Therapeutics Inc.

License agreement for the development and commercialization of microRNA replacement therapy in cancer

Up to $63 million upfront and milestones

Dec. 2011


ProNAi Therapeutics Inc.

Exclusive license for the development and commercialization of DNAi-based therapeutics

$14 million upfront for each target plus milestones

March 2012



Exclusive license agreement for Marina's delivery technologies and chemistry


May 2012


Novartis AG

Nonexclusive license agreement for use of Marina's nucleic acid chemistry

$1 million

Aug. 2012


Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Worldwide, nonexclusive rights to Marina's nucleic acid chemistry for RNAi therapeutics


Nov. 2012


Arcturus Therapeutics Inc.

Assigned unlocked nucleic acid chemistry to Arcturus


Aug. 2013

miRagen Therapeutics Inc.

Silence Therapeutics plc

Collaboration combining Silence's delivery platform with miRagen's drug candidates


Jan. 2011



Commercialization rights outside of the US and Japan for three drugs in cardiovascular disease

$45 million upfront and up to $352 million in milestones

Oct. 2011

Moderna Therapeutics Inc.


Exclusive agreement to develop up to 40 mRNA therapeutics to treat cardiometabolic disease and cancer

$240 million upfront and up to $180 million in milestones

March 2013

Opko Health Inc.

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Rxi acquires Opko's RNAi-related assets

Rxi will issue Opko 50 million shares and make milestone payments up to $50 million

March 2013

Prosensa Holding B.V.


Collaboration to advance three exon-skipping therapeutics to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)

Up to ~$37 million

Sept. 2013

Regulus Therapeutics Inc.


Alliance to discover, develop and commercialize therapeutics targeting up to three miRNAs in cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and oncology

$28 million upfront and equity

Aug. 2012



Acquisition of Roche's RNA therapeutic assets

Roche obtained a minority stake in Arrowhead and milestones

Oct. 2011

Santaris Pharma A/S

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)

Expanded worldwide strategic alliance to 10 targets

$14 million upfront and up to $600 million in milestones

Jan. 2011



Expanded worldwide strategic alliance by up to six miRNA targets


Jan. 2013


Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Worldwide strategic alliance to discover and develop locked nucleic acid (LNA)-based therapeutics targeting mRNA or miRNA

$10 million upfront and up to $90 million in milestones

April 2013



License for LNA-based therapeutics on up to 10 targets for selective activation of protein expression


July 2013

Silence Therapeutics plc

InteRNA Technologies B.V.

Collaboration to develop miRNA therapeutics to treat cancer


Sept. 2011


MiReven Pty. Ltd.

Collaboration to combine Silence's delivery technology with MiReven's therapeutics


Aug. 2012



Resolves litigation over stable nucleic acid-lipid particle (SNALP) delivery technology and extends licensing agreement

$65 million upfront and up to $10 million in milestones

Nov. 2012