Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 DDP Awards: Partnering Excellence Nominee: Dicerna Therapeutics

Partnership: Harnessing Second Generation RNAi Therapeutics using Dicer Substrates (DsiRNA)- $1.4B Oncology Partnership with Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Japan

Dicerna's patented Dicer Substrate technology is a "second-generation approach" to small interfering RNA (siRNA). DsiRNAs enter the pathway at an upstream point compared to a siRNA. While siRNAs are generally 21 nucleotide base pairs, DsiRNA molecules are 25 base pairs or longer. The combination of properties of extraordinary potency (multiple single-digit picomolar DsiRNAs against the target of choice), duration of action and ability to manipulate the molecule for delivery purposes is what distinguishes DsiRNAs from other siRNA molecules. Dicerna has validated two approaches for delivery: nanoparticle systems, and a second approach of integrated DsiRNA delivery systems, which are "double-punch” molecules with a payload and a targeting moiety attached that would be injected as a molecule without the need for formulating in particles for delivery.

On January 4th, 2010 Dicerna and Kyowa Hakko Kirin announced their partnership to discover, develop and commercialize drug delivery systems and siRNA medications using Dicerna's Dicer Substrate Technology for undisclosed oncology targets. The deal potentially could garner Dicerna more than $1.4 billion and is the largest target-based RNAi deal to date. Under its partnership with KHK, Dicerna stands to gain $4 million up-front cash payment and up to $120 million in research funding and development and commercial milestones for the exclusive rights to one oncology target, with the firms having the option to expand the collaboration for up to 10 targets under similar terms. The partnership also includes a 50-50 co-promotional and profit-sharing option for the initial target in the U.S.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, January 26 at the Drug Delivery Partnerships International Conference.

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