November 17, 2010 at 08:00 AM EST
Alnylam Comments on Recent Roche Restructuring and Implications for RNAi Therapeutics

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, commented today on Roche’s corporate restructuring and its implications on RNAi therapeutics. Specifically, Roche announced today their decision to effect a broad-based corporate restructuring that will result in discontinuation of certain activities in research and early development, including RNAi research conducted in Kulmbach, Germany and Madison, Wisconsin. This announcement was made by Roche as part of a broader range of portfolio decisions. This restructuring does not fundamentally impact Alnylam’s financial position nor current or future plans in building its pipeline and advancing RNAi therapeutics as a whole new class of medicines.

“Roche has elected to make a number of broad-based portfolio decisions across their entire R&D organization that appear to affect their ability for continued and sustained resource commitment to RNAi therapeutics,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. “While we are disappointed and surprised to hear of their portfolio decision given the progress being made in the RNAi field, we remain more confident than ever in our efforts to advance RNAi therapeutics as a whole new class of innovative medicines to patients. In particular, we have achieved major breakthroughs in the safe and effective delivery of RNAi therapeutics and have also advanced our RNAi therapeutic efforts to patients in several clinical programs. We expect our delivery progress and clinical pipeline to continue to grow. Moreover, we believe we are on the frontier of demonstrating human proof-of-concept for these and other programs in the near term, and we are confident that these data will provide a strong foundation for continued execution on our business model and value creation strategy.”

About RNA Interference (RNAi)

RNAi (RNA interference) is a revolution in biology, representing a breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells, and a completely new approach to drug discovery and development. Its discovery has been heralded as “a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so,” and represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug discovery today which was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. RNAi is a natural process of gene silencing that occurs in organisms ranging from plants to mammals. By harnessing the natural biological process of RNAi occurring in our cells, the creation of a major new class of medicines, known as RNAi therapeutics, is on the horizon. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), the molecules that mediate RNAi and comprise Alnylam’s RNAi therapeutic platform, target the cause of diseases by potently silencing specific mRNAs, thereby preventing disease-causing proteins from being made. RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat disease and help patients in a fundamentally new way.

About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is applying its therapeutic expertise in RNAi to address significant medical needs, many of which cannot effectively be addressed with small molecules or antibodies, the current major classes of drugs. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world’s top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of a wide range of disease areas, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), liver cancers, TTR-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR), hypercholesterolemia, and Huntington’s disease. In addition, Alnylam formed Alnylam Biotherapeutics, a division of the company focused on the development of RNAi technologies for application in manufacturing processes for biotherapeutic products, including recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies. The company’s leadership position in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how relating to RNAi has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and Cubist. Alnylam and Isis are majority owners of Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.alnylam.com.

Alnylam Forward-Looking Statement

Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, Alnylam’s views with respect to the potential to demonstrate human proof of concept for RNAi therapeutics, the potential to develop safe and effective RNAi therapeutics and the impact on Alnylam of Roche’s decision to restructure its research and early development activities, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including without limitation the data generated by the scientific and clinical activities of Alnylam and others, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Alnylam’s views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Alnylam does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Contacts:

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Cynthia Clayton, 617-551-8207 (Investors)
or
Spectrum
Amanda Sellers, 202-955-6222 x2597 (Media)
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