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Alnylam and Biogen Idec partner on brain treatment

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cmhjeff:
Alnylam and Biogen Idec partner on brain treatment
Boston Business Journal - September 21, 2006

Drug developer Biogen Idec Inc. and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. are
collaborating to develop a treatment for progressive multifocal
leukoencephalopathy, an often deadly neurological disorder.

The condition is marked by an infection of the central nervous system
caused by the "JC virus," the companies said. The condition occurs in
immune-suppressed patients and affects the brain, often causing death
or disability.

The deal provides for Alnylam (Nasdaq: ALNY) and Biogen Idec (Nasdaq:
BIIB) to collaborate on research into PML therapies using RNAi technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cambridge, Mass.-headquartered
Biogen Idec will fund all research and development and Alnylam, also
in Cambridge, will receive an upfront payment of $5 million, with any
resulting products triggering additional payments to Alnylam of more
than $51 million.

"This innovative collaboration to explore using RNAi technology to
develop therapeutics for the treatment of PML will build on our work
to understand and manage this disease," said Al Sandrock, Biogen
Idec's senior vice president of neurology. "We are pleased to partner
with Alnylam, a company that has demonstrated leading capabilities in
the discovery and development of RNAi therapeutics, in this important
undertaking."

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