Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has announced that it will contribute more than 1,500 patents to the patent pool established by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to aid researchers in the search for new medicines to treat neglected tropical diseases.
Alnylam will contribute issued or pending patents from its RNA interference (RNAi) technology patent estate to the patent pool established by GSK.
The patents will be added to approximately 800 patent filings that GSK provided to populate the pool in March 2009. The company's RNAi platform provides an approach to drug discovery and development by gene slicing; controlling which genes are active and how active they are.
GSK chief executive officer Andrew Witty said that the key objective of the pool is to make it easier for researchers across the world to access intellectual property that may be useful in the search for new medicines to treat neglected tropical diseases.
"The more companies, academic institutions and foundations that join the pool, the more effective it will be. Alnylam's announcement today is therefore a welcome and significant step forward," Witty said.
The patent pool was formed to aid in the discovery and development of new drugs to treat 16 tropical diseases, defined as neglected by the US Food and Drug Administration.