Alkermes Drops on FDA Rejection, Glaxo’s SR One Backs Dicerna, Biogen Reworks Genentech Alliance, & More Boston-Are Life Sciences News

10/22/10Follow @xconomy

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continue to develop the drug for adult myeloid leukemia.

—Ryan took a look at Cambridge-based RNAi drug developer Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY), a month after it laid off about 25 percent of its stuff in expectation that its five-year collaboration with Novartis would end. The Swiss drug giant has paid Alnylam $125 million since 2005 to access its gene-silencing technology and has declined to extend the agreement for another $100 million. Novartis will continue to pursue 31 drug targets with the technology, though.

—Watertown, MA-based Dicerna Pharmaceuticals said it wrapped up a $4 million investment from SR One, the venture investing unit of London-based drug company GlaxoSmithKline. The funding brings Dicerna’s Series B financing round from $25 million to $29 million. Dicerna is using RNA interferance-based technology to develop drugs that shut down the expression of disease genes, for the treatment of different types of cancers.

—Weston, MA-based Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Genentech announced they would be revamping an agreement to develop new antibodies against against CD20, the same cellular target of the hit cancer drug rituximab (Rituxan).

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