Suit alleges competitors need to license Silence patents relating to their drug cantidates

Silence Therapeutics has started legal action against Alnylam and The Medicines Company, in a dispute over intellectual property rights.

Silence, which develops RNA-based therapeutics that inhibit specific genes and halt the production of disease-causing proteins, has asked the UK high court to determine whether it is entitled to supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) on a number of its rivals’ products. An SPC extends the duration of certain rights beyond the expiry of a patent.

The drug candidates in question are Alnylam’s Patisiran, Fitusiran and Givosiran, as well as Inclisiran, which is being developed in partnership with The Medicines Company.

The move follows Silence’s expansion of its intellectual property protection in May. At the time, the company stated that it believed certain ‘third party medicines in ongoing clinical trials for conditions including … hypercholesterolemia, haemophilia and acute hepatic porphyrias’ would require licenses under the terms of its patents.