Tekmira Licences Tech to Monsanto

Tekmira develops RNAi therapeutics and providing its lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology to pharmaceutical partners

Tekmira agrees to license its technology to Monsanto in a deal worth up to $86.2 million

Burnaby-based Tekmira Pharmaceutical Corp. agreed Monday to allow Monsanto Co. to license use of its proprietary delivery technology, in a deal Tekmira says is worth up to US $86.2 million.

Tekmira’s shares rallied 25 per cent following the deal’s announcement. The company, which has agreements with leading medical biotech companies like Meck & Co. Inc. and Pfizer Inc., is listed on the TSX (TKM) and NASDAQ (TKMR).

“This agreement points to the broad applicability of Tekmira’s delivery platform,” said Mark Murray, Tekmira’s President and CEO, in a statement, whose company had previously focused on developing RNA-interference drugs for the treatment of cancer, ebola and other diseases. 

As a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, the company develops and commercializes proprietary drugs and drug delivery systems; as part of this latest deal, Monsanto will use Tekmira’s technology for research into pest, virus and weed control for agriculture. 

Monsanto, one of the largest agricultural biotech companies in the world and a frequent target of activists of all stripes, will pay Tekmira for the exclusive rights to use the latter company’s technology and IP, starting with a near term payment of US $16.5 million.

Tekmira was trading at $13.55 at the time of publication.