Monsanto/Alnylam in ten-year alliance
Monsanto has entered into a ten-year strategic alliance with US pharmaceutical company Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, Massachusetts) to use Alnylam’s RNAi-based technologies in its BioDirect biopesticide platform. Monsanto will pay Alnylam $29.2 million for exclusive global rights to use its technology and intellectual property for agricultural applications, including the right to grant sub-licences. In addition, Alnylam will receive milestone payments and further funding for collaborative research efforts, and royalties on products utilising its technology. Monsanto’s BioDirect technology employs RNA molecules to control the expression and regulation of genes in weeds, pests and pathogens. They will be applied as sprayable non-genetically modified products to enhance the performance of existing herbicides and to target specific pests and diseases ( Agrow No 641, p 2).