Sanofi Genzyme is offering Alnylam up to €93M ($100M) to co-develop and launch a revolutionary RNAi therapy for hemophilia. But is RNAi really such a good investment?
Sanofi Genzyme signed a deal with Alnylam back in 2014 to develop RNAi therapies. Now, despite the general discouragement in RNAi technology, Sanofi has decided to go ahead and chip in up to €93M ($100M) to take part in the co-development and co-commercialization of fitusiran, a treatment for hemophilia. Alnylam recently released positive data from a Phase I study and plans to initiate Phase III in early 2017.
The new data seems to have encouraged Sanofi, which will pay Alnylam up to €70M ($75M) in milestones and 20% in sale royalties. If successful, the deal could be very profitable: the hemophilia market is expected to reach €14.2B by 2024.
However, this could be a risky move for Sanofi; RNAi was hailed as a revolutionary approach for therapeutics when it won the Nobel Prize a decade ago.