St. Louis-based Monsanto and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Mass., have formed a strategic alliance to advance biological technologies in the field of agriculture. The new alliance brings Alnylam's broad RNAi-based intellectual property (IP) and proprietary technologies to Monsanto's new BioDirect technology, which aims to deliver innovative biological solutions for farmers.
Monsanto will receive worldwide, exclusive rights to use Alnylam's platform technology and IP in the field of agriculture, including the ability to grant sublicenses. Monsanto will pay Alnylam $29.2 million up front. In addition, Alnylam is eligible to receive milestone payments and additional funding for collaborative research efforts, and royalty payments on products utilizing Alnylam technology and IP. Monsanto becomes Alnylam's strategic partner in agriculture for a 10-year period.
"We believe biological products have great promise in agriculture, and we are excited to be collaborating with Alnylam in this area," said Tom Adams, vice president of chemistry technology at Monsanto.
"This new alliance furthers our vision for RNAi technologies across a broad range of applications and is representative of our passion to pioneer these new frontiers,” said Rachel Meyers, Ph.D., vice president, research and RNAi lead development at Alnylam. “While we remain focused on the advancement of RNAi therapeutics as a new class of innovative medicines—and, specifically our 'Alnylam 5x15' product strategy—this collaboration with Monsanto enables broader uses of Alnylam intellectual property and technologies for additional value creation."