Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced today it expects to receive a minimum of $11.2 million over the next three years from its partner Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. for process development and manufacturing services. This commitment is part of Tekmira’s manufacturing relationship with Alnylam through Phase 2 clinical development for RNAi therapeutics that utilize Tekmira’s SNALP technology, including Alnylam’s clinical-stage product candidate ALN-VSP. The manufacturing and development funding is in addition to ongoing research activities between the two companies and in addition to any milestone payments that may be received from Alnylam. Dr. Mark J. Murray, Tekmira’s President and CEO, said, “This manufacturing and development funding underlines Alnylam’s commitment to our partnership and to utilizing our leading SNALP delivery technology for multiple RNAi therapeutic product candidates. We have built a core competency around the design, development and manufacture of our SNALP formulations, including the manufacture of clinical products, and we provide this capability to our pharmaceutical partners to generate revenue to fund the development of our own proprietary products.” Alnylam filed an IND application in December 2008 with the United States Food and Drug Administration for approval to begin human clinical trials for ALN-VSP. ALN-VSP is being developed as a treatment for liver cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma and other solid tumors with liver involvement. ALN-VSP will be the first RNAi therapeutic using Tekmira’s SNALP technology to be evaluated in humans. Barry Greene, Alnylam’s President and Chief Operating Officer, said, “We are pleased to have a multi-year agreement to secure access to process development and manufacturing resources from Tekmira, a leader in the systemic delivery of RNAi therapeutics. This work builds on our successful collaboration with Tekmira, which is represented in part by the IND application we filed recently for ALN-VSP utilizing SNALP delivery technology.” Under the Tekmira-Alnylam partnership, Tekmira is eligible to receive up to US$16 million in milestones on each and every RNAi therapeutic advanced by Alnylam or its partners that utilizes Tekmira’s technology, as well as royalties on product sales.