wyethWyeth Pharmaceuticals and Santaris Pharma entered into a three-year, worldwide strategic alliance Monday to discover, develop and commercialize new medicines based on Santaris technology.

Denmark-based Santaris’ locked nucleic acid-based technology is used to create synthetic chemical versions of the normal nucleic acid building blocks of ribonucleic acids or RNAs. Santaris says its technologies “improve the drug-like qualities of resulting therapeutics … by increasing resistance to metabolism, increasing half-life and improving tissue uptake.”

RNA is the genetic material in cells that transcribes DNA’s instructions for constructing proteins.

Under the terms of the agreement, Santaris will receive an upfront payment of $7 million in cash and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals will make a $10 million equity investment in Santaris. Santaris could receive further milestone payments of up to $83 million along with royalties on the worldwide sales of all products arising from the alliance.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals of Collegeville, Pa., has the right to extend the research portion of the partnership up to two additional years. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE) of Madison, N.J.