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Dicerna, Boehringer Ingelheim extend drug development collaboration

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Boehringer Ingelheim International Gmbh will make an up-front payment of $5 million as the companies agreed to add new product candidates to their existing collaboration.

Dicerna and Boehringer Ingelheim partnered to discover and develop GalXC RNAi therapeutics for treating chronic liver diseases in October 2017. In October 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim exercised its option to extend their agreement and add product candidates targeting another gene.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Dicerna has presented Boehringer Ingelheim a research work plan for the additional product candidate. Under the revised agreement, Dicerna is eligible to receive up to $170 million in potential development and commercial milestones, and is also eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on potential global net sales, subject to certain adjustments, in the mid-single digits.

The current agreement also grants Boehringer Ingelheim a three-year option to add new product candidates for a fee of $5 million. Dicerna is responsible to deliver a replacement product candidate, in case any drug developed under the original agreement fails during or before clinical development.

According to Dicerna, its current cash will be sufficient to fund the execution of its clinical operating plan beyond 2020.

Dicerna develops therapies for rare, liver and heart diseases and recently closed a $100 million upfront licensing agreement with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. along with an equity investment of $100 million by the pharmaceutical giant.