April 20, 2018 / 5:02 PM / 7 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-U.S. biotech companies Alnylam, Dicerna settle trade secrets case

(Corrects settlement amount in first paragraph to say $15 million)

By Nate Raymond

BOSTON, April 20 (Reuters) - Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc on Friday said that it will pay $15 million plus stock to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc to resolve a lawsuit claiming it stole trade secrets about gene-silencing technology used to develop drug treatments.

The settlement between the two biotech companies resolves a lawsuit that Alnylam filed against Dicerna in 2015. The accord came ahead of a jury trial that was set to begin on Monday in state court in Woburn, Massachusetts.

Under the agreement, Dicerna will pay Alnylam $2 million up-front plus 983,208 shares of its common stock, worth around $13.7 million based on the stock's price at midday on Friday. Dicerna's stock price was up 38.68 percent.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Dicerna said it will also pay Alnylam another $13 million over the next four years, the timing of which is dependent on revenue Dicerna receives pursuant to future RNAi technology-based partnerships under its GalXC brand.

"With today's announcement of a settlement with Alnylam, we are now able to focus the entirety of our resources on the advancement of our key clinical and discovery programs," Dicerna Chief Executive Douglas Fambrough said in a statement.

Alnylam, also Cambridge-based, did not respond to a request for comment.

Alnylam's lawsuit accused Dicerna of misappropriating confidential information related to RNAi technology Alnylam acquired when in 2014 when it bought a Merck & Co Inc subsidiary in a deal it valued in court papers at $325 million. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston Editing by Tom Brown)

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