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Eli Lilly, Dicerna closes collaboration on RNA interference therapies

Eli Lilly and Co. and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s licensing and research collaboration on RNA interference therapies closed after receiving U.S. antitrust clearance.

RNA interference, or RNAi, is a biologic process in which certain double-stranded RNA molecules hinder the expression of disease-causing genes.

The collaboration has been cleared under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which means the deal has received antitrust clearance.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Dicerna previously agreed to use the latter's GalXC RNAi platform to develop new drug targets in the areas of cardio-metabolic disease, neurodegeneration and pain. The companies plan to collaborate on over 10 targets.

The deal involves Lilly paying Dicerna $100 million up front and making an equity investment of $100 million in the Cambridge, Mass.-based company at a premium.