UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SCHOOL AND RXI PHARMACEUTICALS REVISE TECHNOLOGY LICENSING AGREEMENTS AS RXI REFOCUSES ITS IP PORTFOLIO
UMMS and RXi have mutually agreed to terminate 6 licensing agreements and an invention disclosure agreement and amend RNAi oral delivery technology license terms
WORCESTER, Mass—The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXi) announced today that they have mutually agreed to restructure the portfolio of technology licenses between the parties. This restructuring includes the expansion of RXi’s license to certain UMMS intellectual property (IP) related to the oral administration of RNAi therapeutics and the termination of six existing licensing agreements and an invention disclosure agreement.
“RXi continually evaluates its intellectual property portfolio, and we are focusing on our novel approaches to the delivery of RNAi therapeutics, including our self-delivering rxRNA™ (sd-rxRNA™) and the Glucan Encapsulated RNAi delivery technology licensed from UMMS. We decided it was time to revise our license portfolio with UMMS to eliminate agreements that were no longer relevant to RXi and our current development plans,” said Tod Woolf, Ph.D., President and CEO of RXi. “We are pleased with the co-operative manner in which we were able to work with the UMMS team in this evolution of our relationship.”
The agreements RXi has terminated include licenses covering a range of disease targets and intellectual property and an Invention Disclosure Agreement. UMMS and RXi have a number of license agreements that remain in place, including an amended and restated license to certain rights from UMMS relating to the Glucan Encapsulated RNAi Particle (GeRP) delivery technology developed by UMMS’ scientists. UMMS and RXi continue to work together through collaborations and sponsored research agreements.
“The University of Massachusetts Medical School is most interested in seeing its valuable intellectual property developed as broadly as possible for the benefit of patients,” said James P. McNamara, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Office of Technology Management at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. We fully expect to identify suitable licensees for the technology RXi has returned to us.”
About the University of Massachusetts Medical School
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $200 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The work of UMMS researcher Craig Mello, PhD, an investigator of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and his colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, then of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, toward the discovery of RNA interference was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine and has spawned a new and promising field of research. For more information, visit www.umassmed.edu
About RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
RXi Pharmaceuticals is a discovery-stage biopharmaceutical company pursuing the development and potential commercialization of proprietary therapeutics based on RNA interference (RNAi) for the treatment of human diseases. RXi has a comprehensive RNAi platform that includes both RNAi compounds and delivery methods. RXi Pharmaceuticals' rxRNA™ compounds are distinct from the siRNA compounds used by many other companies developing RNAi therapeutics and are very active and potent (10-100pM activity in cell culture) based on the company’s internal research, in addition to being nuclease resistant and readily manufactured. RXi Pharmaceuticals believes it is well positioned to compete successfully in the RNAi-based therapeutics market with its accomplished scientific advisors, including Dr. Craig Mello, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize for his co-discovery of RNAi; a management team that is experienced in developing RNAi products; and a strong early intellectual property position in RNAi chemistry and delivery. www.rxipharma.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future expectations, plan and future development of RXi Pharmaceutical Corporation’s products and technologies. These forward-looking statements about future expectations, plans and prospects of the development of RXi Pharmaceutical Corporation’s products and technologies involve significant risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the risk that the development of our RNAi-based therapeutics may be delayed or may not proceed as planned and we may not be able to complete development of any RNAi-based product, the risk that the FDA approval process may be delayed for any drugs that we develop, risks related to development and commercialization of products by our competitors, risks related to our ability to control the timing and terms of collaborations with third parties and the possibility that other companies or organizations may assert patent rights that prevent us from developing our products. Actual results may differ materially from those RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation contemplated by these forward-looking statements. RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release.