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Alnylam and UMass Medical School announce Tuschl I patent upheld in European opposition proceedings
Date:3/1/2012

Cambridge, Mass., and Worcester, Mass., March 1, 2012 Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) reported today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has upheld the Tuschl I '726 patent (EP 1309726) in oral opposition proceedings held in Munich, Germany. The requested claims of the '726 patent were upheld without any modification. Opponents included Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH, Silence Therapeutics AG, and BASF SE.

Inventors on the patent are David P. Bartel, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Institute Professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a 1993 Nobel Laureate; Thomas Tuschl, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor at Rockefeller University; and Phillip D. Zamore, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Gretchen Stone Cook Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he co-directs the RNA Therapeutics Institute.

"The Tuschl family of patents defines key discoveries central to the advancement of RNAi therapeutics to patients," said James P. McNamara, PhD, executive director, Office of Technology Management, University of Massachusetts Medical School. "The Tuschl I patent is a critical invention by Professors Tuschl, Zamore, Bartel, and Sharp regarding the RNAi mechanism. We are pleased to see this patent fully upheld in Europe in these opposition proceedings."

"We are very pleased with the outcome of these opposition proceedings which resulted in the claims from the Tuschl I '726 patent being fully upheld. This decision by the EPO affirms our belief in the validity of these claims, and the novelty of the Tuschl I invention, and supports the relevance of Tuschl
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Contact: Mark Shelton
mark.shelton@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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