And so another deal has gone on south amid acrimonious charges that trade secrets were swiped and loyalties forsaken. In this case, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals has filed a lawsuit charging Alnylam Pharmaceuticals with breaching a 2007 licensing agreement by replicating Tekmira's proprietary RNAi technology, filing numerous patents based on the technology and sharing the confidential info with a third party.
"Alnylam abused its collaborator status and access to our confidential information by improperly using this information for its own internal purposes and to replicate a competing technology in ways that were unauthorized and without our consent," Tekmire ceo and president Mark Murray says in a statement (here is the statement and here is the lawsuit).
In boasting about Tekmira’s assets, Murray adds that its lipid nanoparticle delivery technology is the only sort that has been validated in multiple human clinical trials as effective for delivering siRNA through the bloodsteam. And it has been used to reduce the LDL cholesterol in both humans and animals, in combating Ebola virus, inhibiting tumor growth and treating hepatitis.
For its part, Alnylam expresses a sort of regret. "We firmly believe that the complaint filed by Tekmira is without merit or foundation, and we intend to fully defend ourselves in this matter," Alnylam president and coo Barry Greene says in his own statement. "Given the longstanding supportive and fully collaborative relationship we have had with Tekmira, it is surprising and extremely unfortunate that they have chosen to voice concerns through unexpected litigation rather than constructive business dialog, and to shift resources away from the scientific and clinical advancement of RNAi therapeutics, which should be the sole focus at this time."