Cover Story: It is an RNA world

Table 1. 2014 first-quarter industry activity in RNA therapeutics. Deals involving Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY) headline a barrage of activity totaling over $1 billion in the month of January alone.

Date

Company

Partner

Description

Value

Jan. 2

Mirna Therapeutics Inc.

Marina Biotech Inc. (Pink:MRNA)

Amended license agreement

Undisclosed

Jan. 7

Isarna Therapeutics GmbH

Not applicable

Equity raised

$17.8 million

Jan. 8

Santaris Pharma A/S

Isarna

License to use locked nucleic acid (LNA) technology

Undisclosed

Jan. 9

Isarna

Sanofi (Euronext:SAN; NYSE:SNY)

Strategic manufacturing

agreement for antisense oligonucleotide therapeutics

Jan. 9

Santaris

Roche

(SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY)

World-wide strategic alliance

for LNA-based therapeutics

$10 million up front; up to $138 million in milestones

Jan. 10

GlaxoSmithKline plc

(LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK)

License to use LNA for up to three targets

Undisclosed

Jan. 12

Merck & Co. Inc.

(NYSE:MRK)

Alnylam

Alnylam acquired Sirna Therapeutics Inc.

$175 million cash and equity up front; up to $105 million in milestones per product

Jan. 12

ProNAi Therapeutics Inc.

Not applicable

Series C financing

$12 million

Jan. 13

Alnylam

Genzyme Corp. unit of Sanofi

Expanded alliance

$700 million in stock

Jan. 13

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

(NASDAQ:ISIS)

Alnylam

Payments based on Alnylam-Genzyme alliance

$7.5 million

Jan. 13

Moderna Therapeutics Inc.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

(NASDAQ:ALXN)

Agreement for 10 mRNA therapeutics-based product options

$100 million up front; $25 million in equity

Jan. 13

Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:RGLS)

Not applicable

Launched microMarkers, a new R&D division for microRNA biomarkers

Undisclosed

Jan. 13

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp.

(TSX:TKM; NASDAQ:TKMR)

Monsanto Co.

(NYSE:MON)

Option agreement for RNAi delivery technology in agriculture

Up to $86.2 million

Jan. 13

Kunshan RiboQuark Pharmaceutical Technology Co. Ltd.

Not applicable

Venture financing

$7.4 million

Jan. 14

Moderna

Launched Onkaido Therapeutics LLC to develop mRNA therapeutics-based oncology treatments

$20 million

Jan. 15

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE-M:RNN)

Direct public offering

$20 million

Jan. 20

Bio-Path Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BPTH)

$10 million

Jan. 20

ProNAi

Series C financing

$12 million

Feb. 3

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:DRNA)

IPO

$90 million

Feb. 5

uniQure N.V. (NASDAQ:QURE)

$91.8 million

Feb. 24

Arrowhead Research Corp. (NASDAQ:ARWR)

Follow on

$119.9 million

Feb. 24

Benitec Biopharma Ltd. (ASX:BLT)

Private placement

$14.1 million

Feb. 24

ProNAi

Cancer Prevention and

Research Institute of Texas

Grant

$14 million