The companies have been engaged in a dispute over patents, with Silence citing Alnylam, a US drugs company valued at US$12.5bn, as one of the companies it believed had been using its technology in drugs that “silence” genes, prompting Alnylam to take legal action to have Silence’s European patent EP 2 258 847B revoked in the UK.
Alnylam’s petition included declarations of non-infringement of EP 2 258 847B by certain Alnylam products.
Silence has now counterclaimed for threatened infringement of the Silence European patent EP 2 258 847B by Alnylam UK and The Medicines Company; if successful, products including patisiran, fitusiran, givosiran and inclisiran will be found to infringe EP 2 258 847B.
In its stock market announcement, Silence also noted that Alnylam and The Medicines Company are yet to serve their respective defences in relation to the earlier served action brought by Silence for a declaration as to its entitlement to claim supplementary protection certificates protection on products containing the above-named active substances.
Supplementary protection certificates, as the name suggests, extend the protection of certain active ingredients in drugs.
"We continue to believe that our fundamental chemical modification technology is core foundational innovation for today's RNAi sector, and that therefore those companies using such modification technology within the scope of our intellectual property (IP) will require a licence," said Ali Mortazavi, chief executive officer of Silence Therapeutics.