GenomeWeb reports that Calando, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, RXi Pharmaceuticals, Marina Biotech and Rosetta Genomics were among the leading RNAi companies that missed their goals to form development and commercialization partnerships in 2010.
This is seen as a sobering sign for RNAi based therapeutics - as the platform remains unproven and Big Pharma seems reluctant to continue to invest in unproven platforms in this environment. Companies seem more eager to pay for a proven platform than to pay for technologies where they assume substantial risk (and potential reward) for its development.
There seems to be considerable pessimism in the industry as to RNAi's future as a therapeutic. This stems from its early promises in 2002 when the technology hit the scene and some very big deals like Novartis-Alnylam (2005), Merck-Sirna (2006), and Roche-Alnylam (2007) that have borne no discernable fruit.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 5th 2011.