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Novartis Extends Alnylam Deal

Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) says that Swiss drug giant Novartis has opted to extend the companies’ research collaboration related to RNA interference treatments for a fifth year. The extension means that Novartis will continue to fund certain research and development efforts at Alnylam through October 2010. “We view this development as very positive for Alnylam because… it provides the company with additional non-dilutive R&D funding, and… it signals Novartis’ continued interest and investment in the RNA therapeutics space in general, and in Alnylam specifically,” wrote Simos Simeonidis, a biotech analyst for investment firm Rodman & Renshaw in New York, in a note to investors.