ARTICLE | Cover Story

Alnylam's RNAa Play

August 14, 2008 7:00 AM UTC

A study in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology proposes a mechanism for small RNA-induced gene activation, a process that results in upregulation of poorly expressed genes.1 Although the jury is still out on what the precise mechanism is, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.has wasted no time in exclusively licensing the relevant IP from three universities. The technology could mark Alnylam's foray into disease areas typically occupied by gene therapy companies and transcription factor-targeting companies.

RNA-induced gene activation (RNAa) is a small interfering RNA-based process in which gene expression is modulated by targeting cryptic transcripts in the promoters of genes, thus providing a tool for potentially upregulating poorly expressed genes that are at the root of some diseases...