Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY) is buying Sirna Therapeutics Inc. from Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) for $175 million, and separately received a $700 million equity investment from Genzyme.

Sirna Therapeutics, headquartered in San Francisco, develops drugs that aim to suppress diseases from genes.

The purchase price will be paid with $25 million in cash and $150 million in Alnylam common stock. Sirna is a subsidiary of Merck, which will be eligible to receive up to $105 million in milestone payments. Merck paid $1.1 billion for publicly-traded Sirna in 2006.

Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company that develops therapeutics used to treat life-threatening diseases such as hemophelia, high cholesterol and other diseases. The company expects the acquisition to allow it to develop new medicines.

Separately, Alnylam received a $700 million investment from Genzyme, a subsidiary of Sanofi (NYSE: SNY). The two companies developed a relationship in 2012, when Genzyme agreed to develop and commercialize Alnylam’s patrisiran product, which is in Phase 3 development.

The partnership gives Genzyme the rights to commercialize three products in Alnylam’s pi peline. After the investment, Genzyme will own a 12 percent stake in Alnylam.

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP acted as Merck's legal counsel on the sale.

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