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Arbutus Biopharma Corporation

Drug Names(s): TKM-ALDH2

Description: TKM-ALDH2 is a systemically delivered RNAi therapeutic that utilizes Tekmira's lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology and targets aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2), a key enzyme in ethanol metabolism. Inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 activity, through the silencing of ALDH2, results in the build-up of acetaldehyde. This mechanism is similar to that of the approved drug disulfiram (Antabuse). Elevated levels of acetaldehyde are responsible for the adverse physiological effects that cause individuals to avoid alcohol consumption.

Deal Structure: In 2008, Alnylam granted to Tekmira InterfeRx licenses to discover, develop, and commercialize RNAi therapeutics towards seven gene targets. In return for these licenses, Alnylam may be eligible to receive milestone fees and royalties.

Arbutus and Tekmira
In July 2015, Tekmira announced plans to change its corporate name to Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (ABUS), an therapeutic solutions company focused on developing a cure for chronic hepatitis B virus infection (HBV), to be effective on or before August 3, 2015.

Partners: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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