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Rival biotechs Alnylam and Dicerna are announcing a ceasefire.

The two companies, which are both developing drugs based on the Nobel Prize-winning technique known as RNA interference, announced an accord Monday intended to harmonize two of their drug programs. The biotechs are working on two sets of rival drug candidates: Each has a drug candidate that targets alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency — a rare genetic disease that affects a person’s lungs and liver, and each also has a candidate that targets primary hyperoxaluria type 1, a rare genetic disorder.


Under the new deal, Dicerna will shoulder all the costs of developing either its own or Alnylam’s version of the alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency drug candidate. Alnylam will have the option to commercialize the drug outside the United States if and when it is ready for the market. More detailed financial terms were not disclosed.

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