Dicerna Expands Kyowa Hakko Pact

Xconomy Boston — 

Watertown, MA-based Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, a developer of second-generation RNA-interference drugs, said today it is expanding its collaboration with the Japanese drug-maker Kyowa Hakko Kirin to include research of gene-silencing treatments for immunologic and inflammatory diseases. The firms announced their original collaboration, worth up to $1.4 billion, in January 2010 to focus on treatments for cancer. The expansion of this collaboration is a bit of good news for the RNAi therapeutics game, which took a big hit last month when the Swiss healthcare giant Roche announced its exit from research in the field.